Andy Bilesky put together his first Little League team back in 1952 and he never looked back. Since that first season, his teams won the District 8 championship 28 times (1958-60, 1962-76), the BC championships eleven times (1962,1964-65, 1967, 1970, 1976, 1980-82, 1985, 1990), and the Canadian national championships five times (1967, 1976, 1980-81, 1990). He went to the Little League World Series five times, winning the “Most Sportsmanlike Team” award in 1967 and placing fourth in 1981 and third in 1990. According to the Canadian Little League Association, Bilesky is the only coach to have taken a team to the world championships more than three times.

Through his selfless efforts and hard work, a Little League baseball park, named of course, “Andy Bilesky Park,” was opened in 1975 in Trail. The park boasts two regulation size Little League diamonds with covered dugouts and a concession stand. To provide for a winter ball program, Bilesky rented a gymnasium three times a week, out of his own funds, to allow practice sessions for his players. He also provided for pitching practice sessions at the local Webster School.

Bilesky’s awards of recognition were numerous over the years. BC Amateur Baseball’s “Coach of the Year” in both 1967 and 1976, and named “Trail’s Citizen of the Year” in 1968, Bilesky’s big year came in 1984 with his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1987, the Canadian championships were held in Trail in his honour. In 1987 and 1990, he received certificates of Merit from the Canadian government. He was also presented with the Daryl Thompson Award by Sport BC for his incredible contribution to sport in the province.

But most important was what Bilesky gave to his players. In his quiet way, he imparted to his kids a great knowledge of the game, and instilled in them the meaning of sportsmanship, dedication and discipline. Bilesky’s own idealism and sincerity were reflected in the actions of his players on and off the field as they represented their hometown, province and country with distinction and honour.