Buddy Brass was born January 29, 1930 in the Nordval Nursery of Birch River. Louise and Donald Brass had a family of eight; Buddy was third youngest. Outdoor life appealed to the hyperactive youth; “I began trapping at age nine and still do it. Three years later, I could out trap my dad.” Buddy excelled in sports, however, particularly baseball.
“I was picked up by local teams to play tournaments while working that summer as a pulp cutter. A fellow came through town looking for players for an all native ball team. I joined and we played a tournament in Bowsman.” With Buddy pitching the entire tournament, their team won handily. Buddy had perfected the ‘drop pitch’; it devastated batters.
Buddy Brass was competing against the best and succeeding. The Bowsman Arrows, who became Maroons, was a dominating team until 1955 when the Man-Sask League folded. The Polar League started up after. Buddy played for the Maroons for twelve years. Buddy played his last game of baseball in 1972 at age 42.
On June 9, 2001, Lawrence ‘Buddy’ Brass became the first aboriginal player inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame. Regarding his success, Buddy has definite advice for those who wish to soar as he once did. “If you want to be good, you must practice. You have to have it in here, your heart."
Lawrence Buddy Brass