The origin of the Okotoks Dawgs baseball program dates back to the mid 1990s with the formation of an elite youth travel team based in Calgary, Alberta. The nucleus of that team was stacked with promising young athletes but the options in terms of baseball development programs were limited and strictly recreational. As a result, the founding fathers of the Dawgs created an independent youth program patterned after top US travel teams with a view to affording these young athletes the opportunity to develop their baseball skills to the highest level.
The goals were simple: provide dedicated youth players with the competition and the coaching that would enable them to maximize their development in the sport. With professional coaching offering year round skill development and with a challenging schedule that averaged 80 to 90 games per season against premier competition on both sides of the border, the Dawgs found a formula for success. Every player on the original Dawgs team earned the opportunity to play college baseball. Beyond that, the roster included several future Major League Baseball draft selections, one ultimately enjoying success at the Major League level and several others experiencing stellar minor league careers. That team also included several players that have worn the red and white of one or more of Canada's National Teams. That team included NCAA All Americans. Further and equally, if not more important, that Dawgs team included multiple college graduates, Academic All Americans, future businessmen, doctors, lawyers, accountants, MBA's, that is, young men who took their love and commitment for the sport and converted it into success not only on the field but in the greater game of life.
The Dawgs have grown exponentially since that original travel team but the vision, the philosophy and the goals remain the same: to offer dedicated and talented young athletes the coaching, the competition and in more recent years, the facilities, necessary to maximize player potential, be it at the collegiate, or in exceptional cases, the professional level.
After years of success in producing premier talent at the youth level, in 2003, the Dawgs introduced a summer collegiate club to the program. Anchored by several graduates of the original youth team, the summer collegiate Dawgs became an instant powerhouse in the Western Major Baseball League, Canada’s premier summer college league, capturing its first of several WMBL Championships in 2004 before 4000 fans at Burns Stadium in Calgary.
In 2006 when disputes over field access with one of the several failed independent league franchises in Calgary became intolerable, the Dawgs broke ground on new state of the art facilities in the beautiful foothills community of Okotoks. A town of 30,000 residents located just 20 minutes south of Calgary, Okotoks welcomed the Dawgs with open arms and offered Dawgs players and recruits all of the amenities of the larger metropolitan center while maintaining all of the advantages, security and charm of a small town.
Thanks primarily to the generosity of local businessmen and philanthropists Don Seaman and Daryl K. (Doc Seaman), on June 7th, 2007 the Dawgs enjoyed their first ever Opening Night before the first of many sold out crowds and under a prophetic double rainbow, at the beautiful $16 Million Seaman Stadium. That season marked the first of three consecutive WMBL Championships at their new home in Okotoks for the summer collegiate Dawgs.
Seaman Stadium is without question the premier amateur baseball stadium in the country and is equivalent to most AA stadiums. It is a full service, state of the art, facility with stadium and berm seating, concessions, clubhouses, multiple washrooms, a fully integrated press box, a giant digital Video Board and Scoreboard, minor league level, Musco Field Lighting, an expansive merchandise store, and multiple patios.
In 2008, thanks again to the generosity of the Seaman brothers and new donor, Michael Rose of Tourmaline Oil Corp., the Dawgs completed the Duvernay Fieldhouse, a year round, indoor training center, consisting of a full sized turf infield, multiple batting cages and bullpens, 2 clubhouses, a cardio and weight training facility, a video analysis room, coaches and administrative offices as well as a lobby viewing area. The Duvernay Fieldhouse was essential in order for the Dawgs to offer their players year round training and development.
In 2009, with interest in the Dawgs Youth Academy continuing to grow exponentially, thanks to the ongoing support of Michael Rose, the Dawgs added a second, full sized, stadium facility, Tourmaline Field. Like Seaman Stadium, Tourmaline Field is a fully functional stadium facility with stadium and berm seating, outdoor batting cages, bullpens, a fully integrated press box, digital scoreboard, Musco Field Lights, clubhouses and washrooms. Tourmaline Field was also designed to include a complete field turf infield in order to enable players to maximize “on field” training for the Youth Academy 8 to 10 months of the year.
In 2010, the Dawgs in conjunction with the Town of Okotoks, added Conrad Field to what had become an extraordinary, one of a kind, baseball complex. With batting cages, multiple bullpen mounds, a digital scoreboard and a “brown monster” in right field, Conrad Field immediately became the premier “Bantam” (15U) facility in the province, if not the country. Combined with the adjacent Riverside Baseball Diamond, which also offers batting cages and multiple bullpens, Conrad Field is now the preferred site for regional and provincial Bantam Championships.
At present, the state of the art, Seaman Stadium Complex consists of two, full service, minor league, level stadiums, two fully functional youth diamonds, multiple outdoor bullpens and batting cages, a phenomenal indoor trading center, all situated in an MLB spring training like facility. Dawgs players truly enjoy the best facilities in the country.