Frederick Roy Dunsmore
Born: March 30, 1929 (St. Boniface, Manitoba)
Died: May 13, 2014 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame (1997)
Fred Dunsmore was a rookie-of-the-year in English hockey, won an Allan Cup senior championship with his hometown Winnipeg Maroons, and skated for Canada at the 1965 world championships. One of Manitoba’s greatest all-time athletes, Dunsmore was also scouted by baseball’s Philadelphia Athletics. He turned down professional contracts in two sports, choosing instead to focus on his studies and a future career as a chartered accountant.
In 1970, the year in which Manitoba celebrated its centennial as a province of Canada, he was on the short list of finalists as provincial athlete of the century, a title won by Cec Browne, a hockey player from the post-Great War years.
Dunsmore was an all-star quarterback for his high school team and was offered a tryout with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He played junior hockey with the Winnipeg Canadians before joining the senior Maroons at age 22 in time to contest the 1952 Allan Cup.
He went overseas to play two seasons with Streatham of the English National League. In league and Autumn Cup play in 1952-53, he scored 10 goals with 22 assists in 53 games and was named the league’s rookie of the year. The following season he scored 29 goals with 36 assists in 48 games.
“The money was pretty good and I enjoyed the hockey,” he told Hal Sigurdson of the Winnipeg Free Press in 1996. “There was no red line and body checking was allowed only in the defensive zone.”
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound left-winger returned home to play for the hometown Maroons, becoming captain of a senior team known as the Red Wreckers. After losing in the finals in 1961 and ’63, the Maroons won the Allan Cup championship in 1964, though Dunsmore missed the playoffs after suffering a severe eye injury.
He skated for Canada at the 1965 world championships at Tempere, Finland. Canada went 4-3 in the tournament to finish in fourth place. The veteran forward had two assists in four games.
Earlier, Dunsmore gained a local reputation as a stellar third baseman and pitcher with the St. Boniface Native Sons. The Athletics even invited him to a tryout at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, but Dunsmore rejected the offer of a Double-A contract, choosing instead to complete his studies at the University of Manitoba. He also turned down a pro offer from the Montreal Canadiens.
In 1954, Dunsmore pitched two games for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the Northern League, going 1-1. He pitched in only two games so as to retain his amateur status.
Dunsmore was vice president and manager of Supercrete Ltd., a Winnipeg concrete manufacturer for which he worked for 35 years until retirement.
Streatham in 1953-54. Dunsdale is in the back row, far left.