Howie Birnie is the heart and soul of Leaside Baseball. Having begun his playing career in 1952, Howie has spent 65 years on the diamond and has done just about all there is to do in the game. Player, Coach, Umpire, Director, President, Treasurer; you name it, Howie has done it!
Howie grew up playing at the old Pape Playgrounds and in 1958 turned his attention to umpiring and coaching. Howie coached his teams to 7 league championships, 1 Ontario Championship and in 1964, coached the Junior National Team to a gold medal.
As an umpire, Howie enjoyed success on the National and International stage, working in 6 National Championships, 5 International Championships. Howie also worked the Pearson Cup three times in the 1980s, working games between the Toronto Blue Jays & the Montreal Expos.
Since 1973, Howie has been the President of Leaside Baseball Association and has held several positions on the Toronto Baseball Association board, serving as President of the TBA from 1978-1985.
In 1985, Howie was elected 3rd Vice President of Baseball Ontario and eventually took the office of President in 1991.
In 2004, Howie was awarded an Honourary Membership with the OBA. He has been inducted in to the Leaside Hall of Fame, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and last year became a Life Member of Baseball Ontario.