SSHoF logoDon Funk

Builder (2004)


Don FunkDon Funk became sponsor, general manager and a coach with Saskatoon All-O-Matics in 1978 and his teams were silver medallists three times at the Canadian men's championships. He was co-chair of the 1987 International Softball Congress playoffs and the 1988 International Softball Federation playoffs, both held in Saskatoon.

Don and Doug were identical twins born in 1946 and most of their early life was spent in Lanigan where they were educated and grew up. Don's pursuit of sports led him to a role as goaltender with the Melville Millionaires in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 1966-67. When he moved to Victoria in 1973, he became a referee in the Western Hockey League. One of his highlights was as referee at the 1974 Western Hockey League all-star game and another was in 1975 when he was referee of an international game between Victoria Cougars and a touring team from the Czech Republic.

Don jumped into the Saskatoon softball picture at full tilt in 1978 and soon he and his brother, Doug, had an operation, which was the envy of all of Canada. The All-O-Matics were Saskatchewan provincial champions six times, 1979 through 1983, and then again in 1986. They were strong contenders at the national level, winning a silver medal in 1980, a bronze medal in 1981, silver again in 1983 and silver again in 1986.

Don wanted his team to enjoy competition at an international level and in 1981, the Japanese laid out the welcome mat for the All-O-Matics. They celebrated by winning the tournament.

Don and his co-chair, Bill Hunter, were welcomed to a 1987 in Japan where two of the guests, on the left, were the Empress and Emperor of Japan. In the team's history, they visited Japan twice and also went to Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand and became familiar visitors in American parks.

Don, Doug and Bill were among the principals at home plate when Saskatchewan premier Grant Devine opened the 1987 International Softball Congress men's championships in Saskatoon.

Sparked by the 1987 success, much of the same committee decided to stage the 1988 International Softball Federation men's championships and Bill Hunter is marching out in front a team from Denmark in a parade, which signaled the tournament's opening.

Saskatoon's success story as hosts was clearly demonstrated by the overflowing crowd at Bob Van Impe Park.

Don was later a director of Softball Canada's men's teams and he was present with Canada's junior men's team which finished second in the world finals played at Summerside, Prince Edward Island, in 1989.