Baseball Oshawa mourns passing of Wall of Excellence coach Rob Snodden

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Published October 11, 2023 at 3:31 pm

Accolades and condolences are pouring in after the passing of long-time coach and Baseball Oshawa Wall of Excellence honouree Rob Snodden.

Coach Snodden spent 27 seasons in an Oshawa dugout helping young players reach their goals and moving them on to the next level. It wasn’t just players Snodden made an impact on, as he helped develop many young coaches in the Oshawa system, providing guidance along the way. Some of those coaches continue to teach young players today, in various organizations, including Oshawa.

“He was an old school baseball guy and I absolutely loved that about him,” said Jayson DesLauriers, who coached with Snodden for many years. “He demanded respect and gave it right back when earned. His knowledge on the mound was plentiful. But what stood out most to me was his dedication to the teams he coached with me. No kid on the team. No grandchild. Just giving back wholeheartedly to the youth of this association.”

On the field, Snodden-led teams enjoyed a lot of success, especially in the 1990s. From 1991-94 his teams won four straight EOBA championships. and during that run his teams appeared in three straight OBA championships, including winning the 1994 OBA AAA Midget championship.

That run of success led to Snodden being named as a coach to the Legionaires All Decade Team of the 1990s. The honours didn’t stop there: in 2015 he was among the first class of honourees named to the Legionaires’ Wall of Excellence, joining Oshawa greats Tony Quick and Dave Sheridan.

Snodden’s success in the dugout had its start in the 1980s, before he became a head coach for the organization. Douglas Stone, who coached with Snodden, remembered his friend fighting for the inclusion of a girl on one of those teams.

“Rob knew it was going to be a bit of a battle to convince the rest of the coaching staff that she should make the team, but he battled on her behalf and I think Debra Lamb was the first female to wear an Oshawa Legionaire uniform.”

Snodden, the grandfather of Zack McQuaid, one of only two Oshawa Legionaire players to ever make the Canadian National Junior team, also coached five EOBA fall All-Star teams and was a member of the 2012 EOBA All-Star team that won the prestigious Cannon Cup, just the second time the EOBA won that championship.

His coaching tenure in Oshawa ended with a three-year stint coaching in the Oshawa Elite program from 2019-21.

Coach Snodden leaves behind a tremendous legacy in Oshawa and a tip of the cap from Baseball Oshawa and all those who played for him, coached with him or knew him.

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