Art Nielsen

Art Nielsen instructs Ottawa Canadians players

Art Nielsen (left) instructs teenaged players with Ottawa Canadians.

Arthur Kai Nielsen

Born: 1931
Died: January 10, 2014 (Ottawa)

For more than four decades, Art Nielsen organized, coached and served as an executive for youth sports in Ottawa.

ImageIn 1968, he founded a Babe Ruth League (aged 13-15) baseball team. This eventually led to the creation of the Ottawa Canadians baseball program with several teams at different levels. (The team name was chosen because Nielsen was a fan of the NHL Montreal Canadiens.) Nielsen also created a hockey program with the same team name.

He served as president for seven years of the Central Canada Hockey League, a junior-A circuit based in eastern Ontario. In 1985, he received the Sam Pollock Award for outstanding contributions to the league.

He was also honorary president of the Ottawa Sooners junior football club, whose program he helped revitalize in 2006.

Among the players from the Ottawa Canadians program to play professional baseball were major league outfielder Doug Frobel and minor leaguers Dave MacQuarrie, a pitcher, and Phil Franko, a shortstop, according to baseball columnist Bob Elliott, who coached under Nielsen.

A teacher and school principal for 34 years, Nielsen also owned Sport Vision, a sports clothing business. He died of acute myeloid leukemia, aged 83.

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