Trail Little League opened a very special 2022 season on Saturday at Andy Bilesky Park, one dedicated to longtime coach and friend, Bruce ‘Buck’ Muskeyn.
Muskeyn coached little league in Trail for over 20 years, but passed away two years ago, and this is the first opportunity the league has had to recognize Buck’s tremendous contributions and honour him.
A tribute on Trail Little League’s Facebook page says that Muskeyn coached in Major and Minor Divisions including several years coaching the Elks and Red Sox. The page has more than 50 comments honouring Buck and over 330 likes.
“He was a fantastic coach and a better person,” said fellow coach D. J. Ashman. “I loved watching him coach kids. The kids loved him. He had the best nick names for kids too. Trail Little League has lost a great person. I will miss him forever.”
Trail Little League also recognized two things unique to Muskeyn that his players will remember forever.
1. Buck never called any of his players by their real name. He made up a nickname for each of them, and that was their new name on the team. The kids loved that special attention.
2. At the end of every season Buck would take his team out to dinner – in the last few years it became known as Buck’s pizza party.
“This is really special!” wrote Claire DeWitt. “We won’t be able to come to Opening Day and to help celebrate Buck’s memory, as we will be going to watch “Twos” play ball in Kelowna. Buck only ever called Brayden that nickname even years after he didn’t wear 22 . Thank you Buck for all you did for Trail ball players.”
Before Muskeyn passed he requested that people make donations to Trail Little League, and as a result the league received over $4,000.
The Trail Little League executive will continue Buck’s tradition, and at the end of this season they will have the first annual Buck’s pizza party at the ballpark for all of the players.
“He was a great coach with a big heart, who had a positive impact on hundreds of youth as they started on their baseball journeys,” read the little league post.
“Thank you for your immense contribution to Trail Little League! You are missed!”