For the Bulletin
The Pittsburgh Pirate Baseball Club, needed to move fast if they wanted to sign a 17 year old catcher from Kimberley British Columbia. The New York Yankees had already dispatched their Pacific North West scout to the highest City In Canada ( Kimberley), a man by the name of Eddy Taylor who had seen young Alan Fabro play in a tournament in Spokane Washington.
The Yankees were going to offer Fabro a signing bonus, and a contract. (giving a Canadian baseball player a signing “bonus” had never been done before) Negotiating for Alan was his father Milo Fabro, probably the most astute businessman in the East Kootenays, and certainly one of the wisest.
When you walked into the Fabro home, a giant picture of President John F. Kennedy hung in the living room ( signed by J.F.K). Milo Fabro advised Alan to sign with Pittsburgh Pirates (who I believe picked up Fabro’s Gonzaga University tuition as well )
“Fabby”, as he was known by in Kimberley sporting circles, attended Gonzaga when he was not playing professional baseball. He was the Gonzaga Bulldog goaltender in Collegiate hockey during his four seasons at G. U. Alan was later to play two seasons of semi pro hockey for the Reno Aces under the ownership of Allan Dunn.
Now, never a shrinking violet, Mr. Alan Fabro sent a bat boy up into the stands in Toronto, asking a vivacious blonde girl if she would like to go out on a date after the game.
Virginia and Fab married one year later. Both of the Fabro children are exceptional athletes. Allison went to the University of Georgia, on a full volleyball scholarship, and Scott displayed the same rocket arm as his father Alan, while playing baseball in Lethbridge, and was a pretty decent hockey player.
Virginia Fabro was an exceptional athlete herself. A family of great athletic genes.
Now, Fab was called upon from time to time to be a relief pitcher for the B.P.O.E. Angels of Kimberley (a Junior Baseball Team under the management of John “ Mauk “ McKenzie). Alan Fabro drilled me in the middle of my back during a game in 1966. It probably quit hurting about three years ago.
Fab could throw really hard, a one in a million arm. A standout basketball and volleyball player up at Selkirk High School, Alan has a golf handicap of 2 or 3. After 50 years Alan still has some sports buddies here in Kimberley, Bilco, Rokey, Boots Boudreau, Sully, Nizer, Sammy Calles Jr., Danny Calles, John McKenzie, Norm Foster, Colin Patterson, and cousin Bernie Redisky. Alan’s mom ( Furina ) and his twin brother ( Colin ) still reside here in Kimberley,his brother Robert has passed away.
So after two seasons of Pro Baseball Alan Fabro decided to get his degree at Gonzaga University. Alan is the quintessential “positive thinker” in life. Who else could start off selling John Deere tractors in Lethbridge, and then end up owning the company!! McKay Brothers employing 150 people, the third largest dealership in Western Canada.
That is Alan Fabro in a nutshell, a man with a can do spirit, and an inspiration to many, many people in sports, business, and life (myself included).
Here is a short list of the very best athletes to come out of Kimberley these past 50 years, Eric “Ike“ Bodin, Alan Fabro, Danny “Sully” Sullivan, and Jimmy Nelson. (in my humble opinion).