James Robert (Bucky) Buchan
Born: December 2, 1942 (Barrie, Ontario)
Died: February 6, 2014 (Victoria, British Columbia)
Jim Buchan was a coach with the Victoria Budget Rent-a-Car senior men’s fast pitch team, which won the softball gold medal at the 1979 Pan American Games. He also coached the team to consecutive national championships.
The Budgets added five players to the roster before traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to take part in the Pan Am Games tournament. Canada went 6-1 in the double knockout round-robin, the only loss delivered by the United States, who won 3-0. Canadian pitchers threw no-hitters in games against Colombia, Venezuela, Virgin Islands and Netherlands Antilles.
In the gold medal game, American lefthander Ty Stofflet matched Rob Guenter of Saskatoon, Sask., the rivals pitching shutouts into the 14th inning. Canada scored the game’s only run on a walk, a single by Guenter, and a fielder’s choice play at the plate.
Buchan also coached the Budgets to the national title in 1982 at Thetford Mines, Que. The team, renamed the Royals, repeated as champs the following year in a tournament played in Victoria.
He later coached and umpired Little League baseball. In 1991, he worked as an umpire at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Born in Barrie, Ont., Buchan grew up in Saskatchewan. He joined the army in 1961, spending a decade with the Queen’s own Rifles and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He later worked for the Department of National Defence and later still as a commissionaire until retiring in 1991.