Prince George Sports Hall of Fame

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Nino Fabbro.jpg

Nino Fabbro (2016)

Fastball Coach,Builder/Administrator

If there is one thing Nino Fabbro most likely enjoys more than his family, his friends and his loved ones, it is the game of fastball. For more than three decades – in the 1970s, '80s and '90s – he was a driving force behind creating a fastball legacy in Prince George. During that time, he was a fastball player, coach, volunteer, friend, mentor and builder.

Fabbro first moved to the city with his young family in the 1970s to start his career as a school teacher. In his spare time, he could often be found at Spruce City Stadium on the corner of Carney Street and Massey Drive.

As a fastball player (a third baseman) in the 1980s, Fabbro noticed the stadium was in poor shape and realized fans and players deserved a better park. He joined the executive of the Spruce City Men's Fastball Association, first as a director, and found funding for a roof over the bleachers (which he installed himself) and arranged to have extra bleachers in the warm-up area for the players, which he also installed himself.

Fabbro soon ascended into the role of president, where his dreams of showcasing Prince George at the provincial, national and international level came true. With the help of Dave Milne, he arranged to have lights installed at the park and convinced the board to purchase crushed red brick from Alberta for the infield. As a result of the acquisition, the Prince George minor boys, minor girls and ladies softball associations followed suit, resulting in those leagues hosting zone, district and provincial softball playdowns and tournaments. In 1995, thanks to Fabbro's determination and dedication and the renovated park, Prince George and Spruce City Stadium hosted the week-long Canadian junior men's championship.

Fabbro's playing career is one that spanned 20 years. It included winning the provincial senior B and Western Canadian titles in 1977 with the Navy Ensigns from Prince George. He could also be found behind the plate as an umpire at diamonds across Prince George, where he mentored both officials and young players alike.

Fabbro coached and managed junior A fastball teams and guided the Prince George Black Bears to a silver medal at the 2006 Canadian Senior Men's championship in Prince George. He also coached the River Kings all-native fastball team for several years, a team that represented Prince George and the province at numerous international events.

Fabbro has been recognized for his contribution to the game with numerous accolades. In 1988, he received the Government of Canada Certificate of Merit for Contribution to Community. In 1989, he received the Senior Service Award for his dedication to fastball in B.C. That was followed by the City of Prince George Award of Merit in Recreation in 1990.

Without the thousands of hours of volunteer work by Fabbro, those who nominated him for induction into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame say they would never have had the chance to play at such high levels, create lasting memories and learn to appreciate the game that Fabbro himself enjoyed so much.

In fact, they added, if Yankee Stadium "was the house that Ruth built," then Spruce City Stadium is the house that Nino built.


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