LALBA Miner’s Annual Ron Matthews Memorial Tournament
“Do your best. Have fun. Follow your dreams.” (Ron Matthews)
The Lethbridge American Legion Miners’ annual Ron Matthews Memorial Tournament was established in 2000, to pay tribute to Ron (Grimson) Matthews, a former player and coach with LALBA, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 29.
Baseball was Ron’s great passion. He began playing Little League baseball in Lethbridge at age four, inspired by the then Lethbridge Exposin the Pioneer Baseball League, and continued to play, reaching Lethbridge’s American Legion A and AA programs during the late 1980s. Ron enjoyed a season pitching at his best with the thenLethbridge Mounties in the Pioneer Baseball League. Beyond his experiences playing Lethbridge ball, Ron went on to play for the Moose Jaw Diamond Dawgs, and to play at the college level on scholarships—in Walla Walla Washington, Whitworth College (Spokane) and Pocatello, Idaho. Ron achieved his ultimate goal when he was drafted as a pitcher for spring training camp with the Cincinatti Reds. Keeping his roots in Lethbridge, it was during the summer of 1999 that Ron coached withLALBA, as assistant coach with the Miners.
Beyond baseball accomplishments during his short life, Ron completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Lethbridge. An all-around athlete, he also excelled in many sports, including rep hockey, golf, and soccer.
This annual tournament in Ron’s memory strives to keep alive his passion for the game of baseball as well as his spirit of competition and accomplishment.