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Bill Green remembered for his baseball impact in Coquitlam and beyond

Bill Green, former coach and manager of the Coquitlam Reds baseball team, passed away March 26 following a battle with cancer
Bill Green
Bill Green's Coquitlam Reds jersey number 24 was retired in 2015, after he coached and managed the team for almost 30 years.

The influence of former Coquitlam Reds coach and manager Bill Green stretches far beyond the dugouts and diamonds at Mundy Park.

Green, who guided the Reds for 30 years — from 1985 to 2015 — died of cancer on Thursday.

“We will always remember Bill as the coach that took the slow walk from the coaching box to his dugout,” said a statement from the BC Premier Baseball League, where the Reds have been competing since 1999.

Other tributes poured in from the baseball community across the province and Canada.

“A very sad day,” Baseball BC posted on its Twitter feed.

“He will be missed,” Baseball Canada added. 

Tom Valcke of the iCASE Baseball Academy in Stratford, Ont., said Green was a “workhorse” who rarely showed his emotions and showed young ballplayers the way quietly.

“If he spoke, you listened,” he said.

Vancouver Canadians broadcaster, Rob Fai said Green provided him mentorship and guidance as he was trying to find his own way in baseball.

“He left a legacy in this province few will ever match,” he said.

That legacy included several Reds players who were drafted by MLB teams, including third baseman Shawn Bowman, Matt Rogelstad, outfielder Rene Tosoni and pitcher Curtis Taylor, who was trying to crack the lineup of the Toronto Blue Jays when spring training was abruptly cancelled March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Murray Seward, a Reds executive, suggested it would be a fitting tribute to Green to rename the diamond where the team plays its home games after him. 

In addition to guiding the Reds, Green was also a regional scout for Major League Baseball and head coach of B.C.’s Canada Cup select team for several years. He was named Baseball Canada’s coach of the year in 1988 and, in 2013, he was inducted in to the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame.