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Coquitlam baseball icon to be remembered in a special ceremony on Saturday

Coquitlam Reds' leader Bill Green died in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bill Green's Coquitlam Reds jersey number 24 was retired in 2015, after he coached and managed the team for almost 30 years.

A longtime coach and manager for the Coquitlam Reds baseball team will be remembered Saturday (June 24) at the location where he spent much of his spare time.

A celebration of life for Bill Green will take place at the Reds’ home field at Mundy Park near Spani pool.

Green, who guided the Premier Baseball League team for 30 years, died of cancer in March 2020.

But the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent upset of many sporting activities for the better part of two years prevented a proper memorial, said Wes Taylor, the Reds’ current general manager.

“Bill has influenced and guided many, many young players through their early baseball careers,” Taylor said. “This is our opportunity to celebrate his life and gather to thank him.”

Green ran the Reds from 1985 to 2015. Some of the players he coached — like third baseman Shawn Bowman, outfielder Rene Tosoni and pitcher Curtis Taylor — were eventually drafted by Major League Baseball teams.

Green was also a regional scout for MLB and he coached B.C.’s Canada Cup select team for several years.

In 1988, he was named Baseball Canada’s coach of the year and in 2013 he was inducted into the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame.

The measure of Green’s impact in the local baseball community was echoed in the tributes that poured in when he died.

“He will be missed,” said a post by Baseball Canada on social media.

Tom Valcke, of the iCASE Baseball Academy in Stratford, Ont., said Green was a “workhorse” who provided quiet guidance to young ballplayers.

“If he spoke, you listened,” he said.

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

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

Green's memorial ceremony is scheduled between games of a doubleheader against the visiting Surrey Chiefs that begins at 11 a.m. Taylor estimates the break will occur around 1 p.m.