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Albert Onuliak's exceptional talents in baseball afforded him the distinction of becoming one of the first of only a few northwestern Ontario ball players to be signed to a major league contract.

Born in Fort William in 1930, Ab became active in baseball pitching with many midget, junior and senior teams during the 1940s. In 1950 Ab's talents led him to the Jack Rossiter Baseball School in Florida. From there he was signed by the Washington Senators of the American League and went on to play for their farm team in Orlando, Florida. The local papers there touted Ab as having an "outstanding chance of going all the way to the majors". It was not surprising, therefore, when Calvin Griffith of the Senators offered Ab a position on the Senators' AAA team in 1953, as a lead up to his entry into the major leagues.

It was at this point that fate would unfortunately intervene: illness forcing Ab to retire and return home. Upon his return Ab played a couple of years with the Port Arthur Red Sox, where he not only had an outstanding strike-out record, but also was the top batter with his team.

Sadly, in 1956, Ab passed away at the young age of 25 years, bringing to a premature end this outstanding athlete's most promising baseball career. In his memory the 'Ab Onuliak Memorial Trophy' was presented by the Lakehead Baseball Association to honour the senior baseball batting champion.

The accomplishments of Ab Onuliak throughout his baseball career are even more outstanding, when one considers the fact that he lost sight in one eye at the age of 2 years, a disability he did not let stand in his way as he ascended the ranks to professional baseball.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 17, 1988

Ab Onuliak

Fort William
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