A Catcher's View
Of a Classic BYH Baseball

By Dallan Olson
BYH Class of 1967
June 2007
When you are a catcher on a baseball team, you see and hear more than anyone else on the field or bench. I had that unique perspective on the Brigham Young High School Wildcats championship team of 1967.

I want to tell you a little bit about that exceptional Wildcat team -- with the disclaimer that all of this took place 40 years ago.

BY High enjoyed the best playing field that a baseball lover like me could ever dream of. We had the best of everything at BYU's baseball diamond except a cornfield with players of the past appearing.

We had an infield with no bad hops, and dugouts that had bat racks, helmet shelves and water fountains. All of this, because we were lucky enough to be connected to BYU.

Courtney Leishman, our coach, kept the team -- and the umpires -- focused. He made sure that we had the best.

For example, our uniforms that year were better than those of the BYU Cougars! We had sleeveless white uniforms with navy blue turtle necks. The letters and numbers were navy, trimmed in gold. We wore gold belts and we had gold pockets. We were the sartorial class baseball team of Region Four. Often BYU baseball players would come by and comment about our "gold pockets". I think they were jealous.

But style can only take a team so far. We also had a great team with exceptional players.

Hover for numbers; click for large version.
The Brigham Young High School
Baseball Team of 1967

Front Row:
1. Gary Golightly, 2. Steve Lewis, 3. Bill Christiansen, 4. Sid Sandberg, 5. John Maas;

Second Row:
6. Dal Olson, 7. Robert Johnson, 8. Conrad Teichert, 9. Clint Williams;

Back Row:
10. Coach Courtney Leishman, 11. Loren Duke, 12. Gayle "Bear" Bluth, 13. Daniel Clark,
14. Michael S. Patten, and 15. Brent Orton.

Billy Christiansen, one of our pitchers, had a great curve ball to go with a funky delivery. He had a side arm release that made it tough for players to pick up the ball. He could hit spots and fool hitters. Bill was also a slick fielding shortstop and he could hit well, too.

Gayle Bluth had four different pitches; each of them was designed to keep opposing hitters off balance. I can remember some players on the other teams saying to each other, "Why can't we hit him? He doesn't throw hard."
Gayle and Bill gave up very few runs that season. They were smart pitchers, and contributed significantly to our success.

Loren Duke was our power hitter. I can still see the ball he blasted out of Timp Park as it sailed over the scoreboard in a play-off game.

Loren and I were both named to the All-State team that year, and because of that we had the opportunity to play in the North-South All Star game in Ogden.

On June 5, 1967, Loren hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 13th inning to win the game for us. There were no broken lights and fireworks, but Loren was a natural. I was extra proud of my buddy that night.

Clint Williams was our "Wonder Boy". He was our line driver; he would hit shots that left the fielders flinching. He could run, hit and field with the best. I don't know why he chose to play football in college.

I recall Coach Leishman getting on Clint about the length of his hair. It wasn't long, but he looked like a rock star compared to the "buzz cut" look that most of us had. He trimmed it for the team.

Brent Orton was our lead-off hitter with wheels. I had learned how fast Brent was in football season earlier that year. He and I were the two kick-off and punt-return guys, and I saw first hand that he could fly. He broke away on several long football runs.

When Brent got on base, he would get the team going. I usually hit right after him in the line-up and he got me some base hits because the opposing team would worry about him on the base paths. The pitchers threw more fastballs, and the infield often got out of position because of his speed.

Dan Clark was a big target for the infielders at first base. His size and skills saved us several times on defense. Dan could also swing the bat well; he had several multiple hit games that year.

Sid Sandberg was the team scholar. He could remember all kinds of helpful facts and stats. He played well in the field and had a good arm. Sid had good speed, too.

Steve Lewis was our young, quiet second baseman. He didn't seem to be bothered by the pressure of playing in big games as a rookie.

Conrad Teichert was Mr. Positive. Gary Golightly and John Maas provided humor when we needed it the most. Robert Johnson and Mike Patton were very supportive guys with good attitudes.

I love to think back to that season in the Spring of 1967, when BY High won the Northern Division of Region 4. We only lost one division game; and we won our first game in the play-offs.

That 1967 season was an outstanding experience that lives on and just becomes better with each passing year.

At Brigham Young High School, Dallan Olson '67 played varsity baseball, basketball and football. He was named to the Deseret News All-State team in baseball in 1967.

Dal continued his education at BYU where he earned a BS in Elementary Education, and a Teacher Certificate, both in 1973. While attending BYU, Dal played baseball for two years.

After serving a two-year mission to Norway, Dal returned to BYU to earn an MED in Elementary Curriculum & Instruction in 1977. In 1990 he earned a Teacher Certificate in Special Education.

He married Angelia Rogers from New Mexico, and they have seven children.
Dallan Olson, BYH Class of 1967
Catcher Dal Olson '67
Dallan Olson retired from the Provo School District after 30 years, where he had served as a teacher, coach, and Special Education leader. Dal is currently working in Fort Worth, Texas as an educational diagnostician in the Lake Worth Independent School District.

Dal's parents are Darwin Wayne Olson and Gayle Wilson Olson. Darwin and Gayle Olson had eleven children, including: Barry Olson [BYH Class of 1966] (Bariann); Dallan Olson [BYH Class of 1967] (Angelia); Kevin Olson [BYH Class of 1971] (Ellen-Anita); Paul Olson [BYH Class of 1972] (Luanne); Gordon Olson (Annette); Martin Olson (Lori); Darla Olson (Don) Lyman; Shauna Olson (John) Hom; Mary Ann Olson (Mike) Morley; Karen Olson (Jim) Gardner; and Susan Olson (Bryant) Lawrence.

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