David “Dave” Giroux was born in Dalhousie, New Brunswick on October 23, 1963. As a boy, Dave loved to spend his time playing hockey, going fishing, and taking long walks in the woods. Noticeably off that list is anything to do with baseball. In fact, it was not until Dave met his wife, Carol, that his passion for baseball began to form.
After Dave and Carol met, he learned that Carol’s young son played ball. Understanding how invested she was in her son’s love for the game, Dave quickly knew that to spend more time with Carol, he would have to spend more time at the ballpark. It was not long before Dave left the bleachers for the dugout and began volunteering as a coach, conveyor, scheduler, and eventually became the President of the Newmarket Baseball Association.
Dave was on a mission to inspire a love of baseball in Canada’s youth and make the game accessible to all. His experience had shown him that the Rookie Division, ages 7-9, could leave the youngest players with a negative experience as well as pose some safety concerns. If this was driving the kids away from the diamond, then Dave wanted to fix it. The solution? The development of a new division: Jr. Rookie. Here kids aged 6-7 could play the game with their immediate peers, and under the guidance of new rules, which made the game safer for the young ones on the field.
Another event that fostered the growth of the local ball clubs was the success of the Toronto Blue Jays during the 1992 and 1993 World Series. Their back-to-back championship wins spurred a whole new generation of baseball fans who were eager to play ball!
In 1996, Dave and his family moved to Aurora, and quite appropriately, bought a home that overlooked the baseball diamonds at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex. Shortly after moving to Aurora, Dave began attending local ball games as a spectator, to observe the nuances of Aurora’s program.
By the early 2000’s the Aurora Minor Softball Association had shifted focus to a baseball program to meet growing demand. As the baseball program grew, the Association changed their name to the familiar Aurora Minor Ball Association (AMBA). This programing change created an issue for Aurora as the existing diamonds were originally built to play softball; baseball diamonds needed a bigger infield. Dave successfully advocated to the Town and many of the ball diamonds were renovated to increase the size of the infield.
During the 2004 season, Dave and Carol’s younger son began playing for Aurora, and within a couple of years Dave began volunteering for the AMBA.
At first, he took on the scheduling duties and by 2006, he was asked to step into the role of President for the AMBA – a position he held until 2014. During this period, not only was he responsible for the leadership and direction of the AMBA, but he continued to coach a variety of teams. He led the Rep team to several York Simcoe Championships and in 2008 he led the
Peewee Boys team to a win at the prestigious Ontario Baseball Association Championships.
Dave was a founding member and President of the York-Simcoe Interlock Baseball Association, and he spearheaded the amalgamation between the Aurora Minor Ball Association and the King Baseball Association. His contributions to numerous baseball associations – whether through coaching, sitting on the executive, or fundraising to bring down the cost of participation – meant that membership grew tremendously.
With infield issue remedied, another one emerged; Aurora still only had one full-sized ball diamond. This presented a problem specifically for the older players who required a full-sized diamond, and age-appropriate facilities, to get the most out of their practice time.
In 2008, Dave began the lengthy process of researching, planning, and advocating for a second full sized ball diamond in Aurora. Along with his responsibilities to the baseball community, Dave would attend Council Meetings and try to thoroughly understand the competing demands on the Town and its limited resources. The process took over two years from concept to construction, but thanks to Dave’s arduous work and passion for keeping the game alive, Aurora got its second full sized ball diamond in 2010 – located in Stewart Burnett Park.
True to his nature, once the diamond was built it was not hands-off for Dave. The first year it was open he spent 500-600 hours at the diamond ensuring it was cared for. Of course, he worked closely with the Town’s Parks Department, but he had no problem being the one to go out at night to drag mats on his 1986 Honda 3-wheeler to ensure the field was ready for the players the next day.
A grassroots community contributor and builder in the truest sense, Dave inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of kids to play ball; and once they began to outgrow the current facilities, he fiercely advocated for larger infields and a new diamond.
In recognition of his contribution to the sport of baseball, we are proud to welcome David Giroux as part of the 2022 class of inductees into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame.