Allison Stanley (Al) Hale was born in Berwick August 5th, 1941, the son of the late Allison and Phyllis Hale, of Cambridge. Brought up in Cambridge, Al spent his younger years playing sports locally with other young boys in this area.
His first foray into organized sports was playing Pony League Baseball in Kentville at the age of 16. His first attempt at organized hockey was to attend the very first hockey school in Canada (held in Kentville in 1959). That same year, Dr. Ron Thorpe, a well-known local Doctor and sports enthusiast, formed a Fastball team in Cambridge called the Tigers. Al became the first baseman on this team.
The Tigers featured local players such as John Durno, Mike Francis, Howie Mintis, Ron Reeves and Lawrence Johnstone, as well as Berwick natives Levi Sherman, Garnie Parker, Manny Lewis and many others. The team played in the Valley Fastball League, against strong teams from Berwick, Greenwood, Cornwallis, and Kentville.
In 1960 the Tigers entered the Provincial Intermediate 'C' playoffs, and eventually captured both the provincial and Maritime titles. A September, 1960 write-up in the Berwick Register, penned by Hall of Famer Stuart Johnstone, reported Al's towering grand slam home run deep to right field that sent the Tigers on their way to victory in the Nova Scotia championships.
In 1964, the Cambridge squad (now playing under the name Red and Whites), again won the Maritime Intermediate 'C' crown after beating a team from Sydney 8-5 and 4-1 to claim the Nova Scotia title.
Joining the Berwick Alpines in 1970, Al was still a formidable force on the field, finishing second in the batting race with a sparkling .378 average.
His former teammates recall Al as a great team player, always with a positive attitude and always helping fellow teammates whenever he had a chance. Al always hit in the four, or five position, because he was such a great clutch hitter. Dale Lloyd, a former teammate and fellow Cambridge resident, says, “Al Hale is just simply the best clutch hitter I have ever seen!”
Al was also an excellent hockey player. He played for the Coldbrook Aces in the 1960s, on a team that won several Valley League Championships. In later years Al finished his Hockey career in the Berwick Suburban League, winning several league championships there as well.
Al played oldtimers Hockey for the noted Berwick Graves Oldtimers, one of the first real oldtimers teams in Nova Scotia, for almost 10 years.
Al is remembered as a tremendously talented athlete, a quiet but confident leader, and a teammate that inspired the rest of his mates to play their hardest, and compete at their highest level possible.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the athlete category, Al Hale.
Inducted June 2012