Nick Owen – 2013 – Athlete/Builder


Portrait by Elvira Lusa

Nick Owen has been Mr. Baseball in Barrie for over 40 years. As a player his senior baseball career spanned almost two decades. During that period he played with 14 league champions, an OBA Championship team, won four individual batting titles, and was twice chosen as league MVP. He also played on the Canadian National Team in 1970 and 1971.

Owen is renowned for his coaching abilities. His Midget, Juvenile and Senior teams have won numerous league titles, were OBA finalists on five occasions, OBA champions three times and in the Canadian Championships twice. His 1985 Marauders Juvenile team were Canada Games gold medalists. In latter years, he concentrated in the development of younger players, coaching for the Barrie Minot Baseball Association at the Mosquito, Peewee and Bantam levels 1994-98.

His coaching talents didn’t go unrecognized. In 1985 he was appointed to the coaching staff of the Canadian National Junior team. He ran OBA coaching clinics for seven years and junior level clinics for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1977 to 1979. He was the obvious choice as the first ever field manager for the Barrie Baycats, who began play in the Inter-County League in May 2001.

Nick Owen was also an active fastball and slo-pitch player. In fastball he has played on five championship teams as well as winning two batting titles. Among his slo-pitch achievements are a pair of league championships, the 1990 Northern Ontario Championship, an Ontario Masters Intermediate Championship leading to the 1992 National Championships, where the team lost in the final.

Owen has also served as President of the Intermediate Fastball League, been on the executives of the South Simcoe Men’s League, Barrie and District Basketball Referees’ Board, Barrie Minor Baseball, York-Simcoe League, and the Barrie men’s Slo-Pitch League. He was Barrie Director for Slo-Pitch Ontario, and was a Labatt’s Blue Slo-Pitch Advisor.

He somehow found time to umpire both Fastball (1976-79) and Slo-Pitch (1979-98) as well as refereeing Basketball at the High School, Men’s League, College and University levels from 1965 to 1995.

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