Jim Bradford

Jim Bradford

Like many youngsters of his generation that grew up in Cobourg and the surrounding area, sports formed an important part of Jim Bradford’s childhood. And like many he didn’t limit his activities to one sport as he participated and excelled in Softball, Baseball, Hockey, Skiing, Football, Volleyball, Cross-Country Running and Basketball. Amongst his playing accomplishments on the diamond, Jim was a valued member of the 1962 Legion Bantam Ontario Championship Softball Team, the Winchester Western Jr. Provincial Championship Team’s in 1963 and 1964, and the Cold Springs Cats All-Ontario Championship squad in 1975 and 1976. 

It was thanks to the inspiration (and a drive to a Basketball officiating clinic) from Jerry Lawless, the Physical Education Head at the Cobourg West Collegiate, that Jim took an alternate path. Not only would he officiate the sport for many years, but would help found the South Kawartha Basketball Association. It was on the diamond where Jim achieved his greatest success as an umpire. In 1968, Jim began his umpiring career, mainly working local games and tournaments. Over the next three-plus decades, Jim would earn a reputation as the top umpire in our area and without question, the most accredited. 

Jim would work the Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, the Canada Senior Men’s Fast Pitch Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick, the National Midget Boys Fastball Championships in Napanee; the Women’s World’s in Newfoundland, and numerous provincial championships, while also acting as an umpiring supervisor in various national competitions. Jim founded the South-Central Umpires Association and served for many years as the Vice-President of the Cobourg Men’s Softball League. Over his career Jim convened countless umpiring clinics, sharing his wisdom and experience with the next generation of arbiters. 

In 2000, Jim became the first-ever umpire in Canada to receive his Level 5 status in both softball disciplines: Fast-Pitch and Slow-Pitch. Three years later, Jim was elected into the Canadian Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame as well as into the Softball Ontario Hall of Fame.

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