To honor one of their most loyal fans, the Winnipeg Goldeyes (independent; American Association) will hand out Gabriel “Dancing Gabe” Langlois bobbleheads on July 13. The bobblehead will be given away as part of Hometown Heroes night, an annual promotion at Shaw Park.
The first 1,000 fans in attendance at Shaw Park on July 13th will receive a “Dancing Gabe” bobblehead, courtesy of ABC Fire & Safety. The Goldeyes host the Sioux City Explorers that night at 7:05 p.m. The bobblehead honours Winnipeg’s own Gabriel “Dancing Gabe” Langlois who has inspired and entertained the local sports community for more than 30 years.
“We are extremely grateful for Gabe’s contributions to the City of Winnipeg, and even prouder to call him a member of the Goldeyes’ family,” said Goldeyes’ owner Sam Katz. “Gabe is a true inspiration to everyone he encounters, and honouring him in this way is the least we could do in return for his unconditional loyalty to our local teams.”
Diagnosed with Autism as a child, Langlois has overcome various obstacles throughout his life, and is now the most recognized and beloved sports fan in the city. The La Prairie, Quebec native attends well over 100 sporting events in Winnipeg each year, and was even present for the inaugural groundbreaking ceremony at Shaw Park in 1998. During his time as the city’s number one “super fan,” Langlois has been actively involved in helping local charities that support Manitobans with disabilities.
“I know that all of our brothers and our sister are so proud of Gabe and his accomplishments throughout the years,” said Mike Langlois, Gabe’s oldest brother. “Gabe loves his sports and loves his community, participating in many Winnipeg events. The Winnipeg Goldeyes and their fans have adopted Gabe, and he really feels part of their family. This is an amazing gesture, one that Gabe will cherish for the rest of his life. Thank you Goldeyes and fans for making ‘Dancing Gabe’ Langlois feel right at home from the first day the ballpark opened.”
The bobblehead is the latest of several recent accolades for Langlois. Last summer, Winnipeg authorDaniel Perron chronicled Langlois’s life in “Dancing Gabe: One Step at a Time.” Proceeds from each book sold were donated to charitable initiatives sponsored by the same Winnipeg sports teams that Langlois has entertained for. In October, Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman presented Langlois with the city’s Organizational Community Service Award. Most recently, the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association honoured Langlois with the Dallis Beck Memorial Good Guy Award.
“I’ve had the rare privilege to follow Gabe to a Goldeyes game,” said Perron. “As soon as he walks in, the way he is greeted says it all. Smiles, hugs, high-fives, and cheers from Goldeyes staff demonstrate a genuine happiness to see ‘Dancing Gabe’. It’s a very unique relationship. ‘Dancing Gabe’ spreads happiness and smiles around him, to fans of all ages.”
The Winnipeg Goldeyes’ annual Hometown Heroes Night is held each summer to pay respect to the city’s police, fire, and paramedic services.
“We are pleased to be part of the Goldeyes’ Hometown Heroes Night, and especially thrilled to sponsor the ‘Dancing Gabe’ bobblehead giveaway,” said Dave Jeanson, President and CEO of ABC Fire & Safety. “‘Dancing Gabe’ is an icon in our community, and he is well-deserving of this special honour.”
The Goldeyes plan to announce their full 2016 promotional schedule later this week.
Image of Gabriel Langlois courtesy of the Winnipeg Goldeyes.