Election: February 11, 2009
Induction: June 20, 2009
Born (date, year, place): July 6, 1937 in Windsor, Ontario
Primary Position: Builder
A local, provincial and national volunteer for more than 40 years, Bernie Soulliere has helped transform Windsor, Ontario into one of Canada’s baseball hotbeds. The never-say-no Windsor native has coached hometown teams to four Ontario championships (1972, 1973, 1977, 1978) and two national titles (1972 and 1978). He has also served as the sports chair of the much-accomplished Mic-Mac Club since 1975 and acted as chair of the three World Junior Championships hosted by Windsor in 1986, 1987 and 1993.
On a provincial level, Soulliere was the president of Baseball Ontario from 1993 to 1995 and served as the general manager of the Ontario teams that won three consecutive gold medals at the Canada Summer Games in 1981, 1985 and 1989. Nationally, he was vice-president of Baseball Canada from 1992 to 1997 and has acted as Team Canada’s business manager countless times, including at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Among the numerous honours bestowed upon Soulliere are winning the prestigious International Baseball Federation’s President’s Award in 1986 and being recognized by the USA Baseball Federation for outstanding contribution and support of amateur baseball in 1994. That same year, he received Baseball Canada’s Special Achievement Award. Baseball Ontario also recognized Soulliere with their President’s Award in 1996. He was named an honourary member of the organization in 2002.