Ball Tournament

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.

Ann & Dick Raymond


Ann & Dick Raymond

Dick and Ann Raymond have devoted a considerable amount of their lives to fulfilling a single desire, to make their beloved Grafton a better place and as a result of their tireless work and organizational skill they have forever changed, and enhanced, their community. Dick Raymond’s lifetime of volunteerism can be traced back to 1962, when as a 19-year-old, and still not old enough to drive, he started coaching a team in the Cobourg Community Hockey League (CCHL). As a coach, Dick would lead three teams to provincial hockey championships, in addition to a Provincial Women’s Softball Association (PWSA) Bronze Medal with the Cobourg Bantam Angels in 1989. But it is as an organizer and administrator that Dick has had the largest impact. In addition, to a five-decade long tenure with Grafton Minor Hockey, which saw him at various times serve as the organization’s President, Vice-President, past President, coach, equipment manager, bingo organizer, fundraiser, etc.., Dick was one of the founders and lead organizer for the Grafton Fastball Tournament for its four-decade long existence, while also serving on the Grafton Arena recreation committee for forty years, thirty-five of which saw him operate the Grafton canteen. And then there was all the hours put in to construct the Grafton facility itself, 5 ball diamonds, all the backstops, the scoreboard, fencing the diamonds, the playground, score keepers’ benches, etc. all bear the handprint of Dick Raymond. But Dick was never alone in his efforts, in fact he represented one-half of a formidable team. Every step of the way, at every event, every fundraiser, was Dick’s wife Ann. A true team, Dick and Ann would not only work together, but complement each other, so while Dick was organizing, it was Ann placing the calls and answering the phone. Despite both holding full-time jobs, and raising a family, and despite being tired most nights, both Dick and Ann Raymond always found the energy and the time to give of themselves for the greater good of their community and the people of Grafton.

Softball-Fastpitch-Ewart Timlin

Ewart Timlin

Softball-Ewart Timlin

Just a shade over eleven kilometers north of Cobourg lies a pretty valley right between two steep hills and therein lies the tiny hamlet of Cold Springs.

With a population today of less than 200 souls one would be hard pressed to imagine that anything representing this mainly rural community would ever gain much prominence, but that’s exactly what happened beginning in the mid-1970’s with the Cold Springs Cats emerging as a provincial fastball powerhouse, but the roots of that unforeseen success go further back still, all the way back to 1951 and the inside of an elementary school classroom at Cold Springs Public School.


One of the students in that class was a ten-year old Ewart Timlin and it was his grade five teacher, Ms. Hebert who helped to spark a desire inside of him, a passion that has remained with him over the seven decades that followed. In addition to teaching, Ms. Hebert also played hockey and softball, with a rather high level of proficiency. That influence along with that of his mother, Olive, and sisters Marie and Lorene, all of whom played on the Ladies softball team in Cold Springs helped draw young Ewart towards the sport. 

After a few years watching from the bench, taking the game in, slowly learning it’s intricacies, while all the while working towards improving his own skills, Ewart finally got the tap on the shoulder to take the field when he was 15 and in just five years he held the dual positions of player-coach with Cold Springs, a position he would hold for the next two decades (after which he commenced a 25-year Slo-Pitch playing career).


Serving in the roles of player, coach, and manager, Ewart Timlin guided the Cold Springs Cats throughout the 1960’s and early ‘70’s as a part of the Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) and the Hamilton Township League, before, in search of a higher level of competition, the team petitioned to join the Peterborough City League for the 1975 season, and despite misgivings about their ability to compete, Cold Springs was reluctantly added to the league. A subsequent first place finish in the league and the OASA Intermediate C championship put those initial doubts to rest.

The following season, 1976, saw the “Cats” repeat as Ontario Intermediate “C” Champs and then four years later, in 1980, the “Cats” added the Ontario Senior “A” fastball championship to their ever-increasing trophy case. “That was the biggest highlight of my career” Ewart says today, “because no one expected us to win this prestigious Championship and represent Ontario in the Canadian Amateur Championship Tournament in Saskatchewan.”


By no means did the winning end there, and by the end of the decade, the Cats, still guided by Ewart, took home the OASA Intermediate B championship. And then came the establishment in the winter of 1995-96 of the Masters level by the OASA, a category designed for as Ewart puts it “players who had achieved a certain level of maturity in physical and mental outlook”.

What followed was a renaissance for the Cold Springs Cats. From 1996 to 2011 the Cats participated in more than 20 Masters events, winning 2 Canadian Masters Championships, an Eastern Canadian title plus three gold, two silver, and three bronze OASA Masters Championships. In addition, the Cats dominated the North Bay World Senior Men’s Fastball Championship, winning seven gold medals, and two silvers in their ten appearances.


Along with all of the team success a multitude of individual honours have been bestowed on Ewart.

In 1981, he was named the Citizen of the Year in Hamilton Township. Thirty years later, he was the first recipient of the Len Hewitt Award. In 2011 and 2012 the OASA named him as the association’s Honorary Vice-President and 2012 also saw him presented with the Cobourg Legion’s “Giving Back” trophy. Two years later in 2014, Ewart was inducted into the Ontario Masters Fastball Hall of Fame and four years after that he came full circle after he was named the Senior Citizen of the Year in Hamilton Township.


And yet despite all of the team success and individual honours, and they have been numerous, Ewart maintains this is only a part of what has made his lifetime spent in and around the sport of softball so rewarding.

"I love the game so much because of all the skill development involved, and the camaraderie," says Ewart, a retired teacher and vice-principal. "Off the field friendships are just as important than what happens on the field, and I've met friends from coast to coast because of my involvement in softball."

Surely, Ms. Hebert would look on approvingly.



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Submitted byEwart Timlin (not verified) on Tue, 01/04/2022 - 00:23

An excellent summary of my history in softball

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Sports-Neil Cane

Sports-Neil Cane



Neil Cane was born in Cobourg on January 12, 1934. He lived most of his life in Baltimore, with his wife Shirley and five children, John, Laurie (Dynes), Peter, Cathy, and David.

As an athlete, Neil excelled at baseball, track and field, and hockey.

The earliest recollection of Cane's athletic ability started in 1948-49 when his Junior softball teams were crowned the Cobourg Rotary League Champs and also the Cobourg Labour Day Tournament Juvenile champs. In 1950, he was a member of the OASA Juvenile B Softball Champs.

He also won the Field Day Cup as the Junior Champion in Track and Field at CCI in 1948. Neil's track and field prowess was again evident at the Ontario Police Games One Mile relay. He was part of the winning relay team along with Art Round, Harry Sirrett, and J. Campbell.

Starting in 1959 Neil racked up hockey championships and personal awards. He was the Mercantile Hockey League MVP, and the teams he played with were league champs in the Hamilton Township Men's League. Twice he played on championship teams while playing in the Mercantile Hockey League.

Neil's actual job was manager of the Baltimore Recreation Centre for 22 years. When he started, there was only one baseball diamond. When he finished there were three additional fenced in diamonds, plus Neil got the old lights from Victoria Park for night games at Diamond #1.

He also added a playground, canteen and washroom facilities, a basketball court, and two volleyball courts. It became a first-class facility.

As many people have mentioned over the years, that although Neil worked for the Baltimore Recreation Centre, he practically lived there and did an incredible amount of work as a volunteer at the facility.

Not only did he do that, he was involved in many other aspects of the community. I always said jokingly, “If you added up the number of hours Neil actually worked at the park, he probably made a dollar an hour”.

I remember telling him that as part of a Millennium Celebration I wanted to build a conservation/educational area on the unused portion of land behind Baltimore Public School. It was a dream of mine that Neil turned into reality!

My first order of business was getting solid benches for the students that would last the test of time. Neil ordered six sturdy benches and I assisted (I watched) in cementing them into the ground. I made a cedar pathway around the entire area and we were pretty well done… or so I thought.

I asked Neil if he could build a semi-circular bench that could comfortably seat thirty children. That's all I needed to say. He drew up a plan and built the bench single-handedly. Later on he asked me if the area was being used. I mentioned that some teachers weren't able to manage the pathway and it was difficult for them to take their class to the top of the steep hill. Neil and I chatted and he said “You know what, we need to build steps with a rail.”

A week later I was looking out of the back window of my class and I saw two by fours and planks being tossed over the fence. I went back to investigate. There was Neil, alone, throwing the wood over the fence. He then proceeded to climb over the fence and commence working on the stairs.

In no time at all, the beautiful staircase was constructed and there were no excuses for the garden area not being utilized. I dedicated an area as Cane's Corner of the Millennium Garden to Neil and Shirley Cane and had a plaque attached to one of the benches recognizing Neil for his volunteer efforts.

No job was too big or small for Neil. His philosophy was, “Let's just get it done!” He didn't want the fanfare, he just wanted to see jobs completed. Another huge project he undertook was the construction of Jacob's Ladder.

Let's move along, there's so much more to tell.

According to Denine Page, Head Instructor at The Baltimore Figure Skating Club, “Neil was much more than the arena manager at Baltimore. He willingly involved himself with the coaches, skaters, and parents. I often consulted him with new ideas about programming for the skaters and appreciated his input as to how we could make things happen successfully.”

At the end of each season, the club would have their annual skating show. Once again, there was Neil volunteering to help with scaffolding, lights, decorations, and the sound system. He didn't stop there! He also volunteered to be the MC for the show and do all the announcing for the dress rehearsals and both the afternoon and evening shows!

Anne Quigley, President of Baltimore Minor Hockey, mentioned Neil's role in taking charge of lining up 1000 kids at the Cross Border Annual tournament opening ceremonies and offering assistance throughout the tournament.

Even after his retirement, he stayed involved by sitting on the Board with Anne. She noted that “Neil selflessly spent countless hours helping at fund raising events, often behind the scenes in the setup or tear down stage, never seeking the “limelight”. “The saying he was best known for was, “You kids just go home and get some rest before the big event, and I will take care of everything here.” And he never failed us!!”

His volunteering efforts were evident in Grafton, too! He was everywhere! Neil was a player in the inaugural Grafton Fastball Tournament run by Dick and Ann Raymond. “Over the years he would be a coach, an umpire, a groundskeeper, scorekeeper, announcer, and any other person we needed him to be,” according to Raymond.

No matter who you talked to in the Baltimore community and surrounding area, people admired him and respected him for what he did and what he meant to Baltimore. He was a tremendous role model to many individuals, including myself. The legendary Neil Cane was an iconic figure that we'll never forget.

Layton Dodge, Cobourg's sports writer summed it up best, “Neil Cane – Mr. Baltimore.”

Although Neil did not seek recognition, over the years he gathered a lot of hardware for his efforts as a player, as a coach, as an umpire, and as a volunteer.



1973 Certificate of Outstanding Service from the Cobourg Church Hockey League

Legion Baseball Awards: 1976 Certificate Of Merit

1980 Peewee Coach Of The Year

1982 Baltimore Minor Hockey Vice President

1989 Baltimore Arena Committee for “Devotion Of Duty”

1995 OASA Outstanding Service Award

1998 OASA Outstanding Service Award

2004 Cobourg Men's Softball League “Thanks For The Memories”

2007 Hamilton Township Senior of the Year

Paul Harris Fellow Award from The Cobourg Rotary Club

Baltimore Sports Complex Diamond #1 renamed signage “Neil Cane Diamond #1”



1948 Cobourg Rotary League Champs Jr. Softball

1948-9 CCI Junior Champion (Track and Field Trophy)

1949 Cobourg Labour Day Tournament Juvenile Champs

1950 OASA Juvenile B Champs

1952 Ontario Police Games 1 Mile Relay Winners

1959 Mercantile Hockey MVP Trophy

1965-6 Mercantile Hockey Champs

1966-7 Mercantile Hockey Champs

1972 Hamilton Township Men's League Champs

By Bryan Marjoram



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Sports-Ken Petrie

Ken Petrie



Kenneth Wayne James Petrie was born July 11, 1946 in Stratford, Ontario. In 1957 when he was 11, he and his family moved to Cobourg. In 1972 they moved to Furnace Street across from Memorial Arena where he eventually worked for many years.

During a month-long visit from his grandfather one summer, Ken learned to play ball which sparked a life-long love of sports. He was an avid bowler as well early in his life.

Unselfishly, Ken devoted most of his adult life to minor sports in Cobourg—namely: the Cobourg Community Hockey League (CCHL); Cobourg Legion Minor Softball Association (CLMSA) and Cobourg Baseball Association (CBA).

It was about 1965 when Ken was 19 that Layton Dodge recruited him to volunteer with the Cobourg Church Hockey League. He helped Gord Burdick Senior coach the St. Andrew’s Church League team. Thus began a life-long tenure with the CCHL until the organization moved from Memorial Arena to the CCC in 2011.

In hockey, Ken was a tireless workhorse helping out wherever he could whether it be as a coach, manager, trainer, fundraiser, Bingo volunteer, executive member, committee member, or just plain taking on responsibilities when necessary—when no one else would, he did if he could.

He was president of the CCHL a record 11 times (1979-82, 1985, 1993, 1999-2003) and was a long-time life member. He was OMHA contact person many, many times (a time consuming, huge responsibility), ice chairman, governor, tournament convenor, timekeeper/scorekeeper, budget committee member and astoundingly, many of these in a single hockey season. Those who worked with Ken didn’t mind helping him though—as he never asked anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. It is on record that Layton Dodge called Ken “the driving force behind the CCHL”. Also, Past President, Jim Nairn is quoted as saying “Ken Petrie’s sense of community and love for the game is what kept him coming back.”

A source of great pride for Ken throughout his time in the CCHL was seeing all of Cobourg’s championship hockey banners hanging from the rafters in Memorial Arena. Also, he was extremely proud of the fact that the CCHL housed both boys and girls hockey (OMHA and OWHA) under the CCHL umbrella.

Ken’s happy cheerful demeanor along with his willingness to help, gave credence to the CCHL motto “Dedicated to Our Youth”. That was Ken Petrie through and through.

Besides the enormous amount of time spent volunteering with hockey during fall and winter, Ken loved spending the summer months coaching boys or girls teams in either softball or baseball. For many years he donated the trophies for the ‘golden glove’ competitions during Cobourg Baseball tournaments. And, little known to the general public, Ken Petrie throughout his time in sports often made sure that a kid on his team who needed a ball glove, hockey stick or whatever in order to play—and whose parents couldn’t afford it, was given what they needed from Sommerville’s.... he’d go into the store and square up with Clarke or Dave later.

Since the mid 1960s, Ken has compiled the most amazing record when it comes to provincial championship wins and claims 10 provincial titles with minor sports—hockey, softball and baseball combined: perhaps the most ever in Cobourg. They are listed below plus an EOBA championship.

The certificates commemorating Ken’s provincial championship wins are not very detailed as to the individual winning team names. However, in an article by Cobourg Star writer Darryl Thompson in 2005, Ken clearly states he had an All-Ontario hockey championship, one Ontario Girls’ softball championship, four Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) championships and four Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) titles. The Ontario Championships are listed below. He coached baseball in Port Hope as well.

A provincial championship title captured by the Legion Squirt Red Wings Softball team coached by Ken and the late Tom Savage in 1967 was Cobourg Legion Minor Softball’s first ever provincial title. 

Ken's many certificates, citations, plaques and awards for service to community were at one time proudly displayed in his home. Some of them are listed below. Many are being added to the 'Collection' at the Cobourg and District Sports Hall of Fame website.

There were many hockey/ball teams Ken coached, some won awards. The many team photos, also being added to the 'Collection', are small proof of Ken's extensive coaching involvement.

In July 2013, Ken suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm and moved to a nursing home in Port Hope where he resides today.

Ontario Championships

1967 - Cobourg Legion Squirt “A” Red Wings OASA Softball Team (with Tom Savage)

1970 - PWSA Martin’s Sunoco Girls Softball Team (with Audrey Warner). Ken’s sister Mary Checkley played on this team

1976 - Cobourg Legion Squirt “B” OASA Softball Team (with John Hayden)

1979 - EOBA Tyke  ‘A’ Champs with Sommerville Leprechauns Baseball Team (with Pete  Sweet)

1983 - Cobourg Legion Pirates Peewee ‘D’ Baseball Team (with Al Guernsey & Gord Latourneau)

1984 - Cobourg Bantam Baseball Team

1988-89 - Harnden & King ‘BB’ PeeWee OMHA Hockey Team (with John Donegan)

1990 - Legion PeeWee ‘B’ Pirates Baseball Team (with Ron Jay and Dave Clarke)

1998 - Cobourg Legion Midget “B” OASA Softball Team (with Bob Bateman)


1972 - Thompson Plumbing & Heating Saints Midget Girls PWSA (with Ross Burgess and Les Stevenson)

1982 - Cobourg Legion Pirates PeeWee ‘C’ Baseball (with Dave Bemma & Bob Barkhouse)

Honours & Awards

1972-73 - Cobourg Church Hockey League “Coach of the Year Award” St. Andrew’s PeeWee North Stars

1976 - Certificate of Merit from the Cobourg Legion Minor Softball Association in appreciation of outstanding service to the youth of our community

1978/79 - OMHA Coach of the Year (with Dennis Whelan) in the CCHL

1980 - The Spooner Sport Award for outstanding contributions to minor sport

1981 - Cobourg Baseball Association’s “Jim Munro Memorial Trophy” for Coach of the Year

1983 - Cobourg Baseball Association’s “Jim Munro Memorial Trophy” for Coach of the Year

1984 - Cobourg Baseball Association’s "Jim Munro Memorial Trophy" for Coach of the Year to Ken Petrie and Wayne Wiggins

1987 - Sesquicentennial Celebration Award - Town of Cobourg - Angus Read

1987 - Canada Celebration 88 (Olympic Partner) - Certificate of Merit from the Government of Canada in grateful recognition of your contribution to your community

1990 - YMCA Service to Youth Award

1990 - Cobourg Baseball Association’s “Jim Munro Memorial Trophy” Coach of the Year Award presented by Frank Waghorn

1993 - OBA’s “Bantam Coach of the Year Award” from AAA to E levels (a province-wide citation)

1997 - Ontario Municipal Recreation Association Certificate from the Town of Cobourg given at the CCHL’s annual awards banquet with Layton Dodge

1997 - Life Member of the Cobourg Community Hockey League - inscripted on the CCHL Life Member Plaque

1997 - Life Member of Cobourg Legion Minor Softball Association

2001 - Ontario Minor Hockey Association - Letter of Commendation from OMHA President Pat Parlette 

2007 - Nomination for the National “RBC Hockey Heroes Award” 

2019 - Members of the Northumberland Baseball Association assume that Ken was a life member of the former CBA though no documentation 

By Rosey Bateman



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Sports-Neil Cane Obituary

Sports-Neil Cane Obituary

Cane Remembered as Tireless Volunteer

Published May 24, 2012 Northumberland Today by Jeff Gard 

A big void has been left in the community of Baltimore.

Former arena manager and longtime volunteer Neil Cane died suddenly on Monday. He was 78.

There is no denying the legacy Cane has left in the Township of Hamilton and surrounding areas.

"My sympathies definitely go to the family and friends of Neil", Hamilton Township Mayor Mark Lovshin said when contacted on Tuesday. "Quite an asset for Hamilton Township to lose. He had his heart within the municipality. He was always there when we needed him. He will be sadly missed." 

Visitations will be held today from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm at the MacCoubrey Funeral Home in Cobourg. A funeral service will take place tomorrow at MacCoubrey's at 11am with internment to follow at Cobourg  Union Cemetery.

What George Quigley-who along with his wife Anne runs Baltimore Minor Hockey-will remember most about Cane is "his giving" and he expects he's not alone.

"That's what you'll hear from everybody," Quigley said. "(Cane was) always there for you. He would do anything."

Former Hamilton Township Mayor Forrest Rowden-who is a current Cobourg Councillor-was involved in municipal politics there for 18 years. He was mayor until 2006 several years after Cane had retired but still remained a loyal volunteer. In fact, a lot of the time Cane spent working while as an employee of the municipality for two decades could be considered "volunteer."

"Every 40 hours pay you gave Neil you had 80 hours work and that was a fact." Rowden said. "Neil felt that park was his backyard and he kept it just that way. He was so devoted to the community."

Rowden said Cane-who retired in 2000-hardly ever used his vacation time.

"He couldn't go on holidays because he figured he would be needed" Rowden said. "When he retired he was going to travel but Neil didn't want to leave the community. He wanted to be there."

"He was kind of like a legend" remarked Brian Marjoram "and I use that in a serious manner."

"Everybody knew him and everybody knew the work he did" added Marjoram, a retired teacher from Baltimore Public School. "He often did the work anonymously. He wasn't there for the accolades. He just did it because it needed to be done. He was one of those guys who grabbed the bull by the horns and got down to work. He was non-stop. No job was to big, no job was too small."

Marjoram worked closely with Cane on the Baltimore School Millennium Garden project. Some people Marjoram recalled, complained there was too much of an incline and they couldn't get up the hill.

"So Neil built stairs" Marjoram said, noting there was also a semi-circular student bench that could accommodate 30 children. "These projects, he would do many of them by himself."

Both Marjoram and Rowden credited Cane for helping to build Jacob's Ladder which leaves from County Road 45 up to Baltimore United Church.

Close friend Keith Curtis worked on many projects with Cane especially around the Baltimore Recreation Center. Curtis said Cane was always quick to lend a hand.

"He was just that kind of guy" Curtis said "When he was working (for the Township) he didn't just work for 40 hours; he worked the times he was needed. It could be midnight but if something needed to be done he would be there. He was just a great guy to be with."

Layton Dodge, the former longtime sportswriter for the Cobourg Daily Star said he always considered Cane to be "Mr. Baltimore" even though his contributions reached other communities such as Cobourg, Grafton and Cold Springs as well.

Dodge believes Cane was active in the Baltimore community for six decades. He also remembers Cane coming into Cobourg in the 1950s to referee all the minor hockey games with Lionel (Pat) Briand. They did it for free.

In addition "he coached just about anything there is to coach" Dodge said "and he was an excellent umpire; one of the better ones around."

Cane was involved with hockey, ball and figure skating in Baltimore.

In 2002 ball diamond No 1 in Baltimore was renamed the Neil Cane Diamond, a tribute to his contributions through the years.

Anytime there was rain Cane was quick to get outside and get the diamonds in shape as soon as possible. Often times portions of tournaments from other communities would be moved to Baltimore following rain delays just because the diamonds were ready to go due to Cane's work.

"The sports community is poorer because of his passing" Dodge said. "Everyone appreciated what he did. He was a hard worker. Anything that needed to be done he would do it. He was a great humanitarian and a real good Samaritan Extraordinaire."

Anne Quigley had just met with Cane this past week at the recreation center's outdoor summer canteen which is run by Baltimore Minor Hockey. She was going to get it ready for the season and phoned Cane.

"I knew better than to just go there and not tell him" she said. "Next thing you know he's there doing the grills and oiling them up and all the other things he's always done. He did them as a manager and he did them as a volunteer."

Next week he was going to help change the bulletin boards inside the arena.

"He was always still giving to minor hockey and any of the clubs here" Quigley said.

Quigley said Cane was known as 'The Boss'.

"He always took charge with whatever he did." she said. "It didn't matter if he was moving tables or chairs he directed everybody where they should put them and what the easiest way was."

Quigley said Cane earned all the respect that was shown to him. She recalled a time when the arena management board fundraised to purchase new fencing for ballparks which Cane wanted and was going to install. The rolls of chain-link fencing were delivered on a Friday night.

By the Monday, Cane returned to find all the fencing had been stolen. In a newspaper article Quigley said Cane voiced his disgust that someone had stolen from the community.

"The next night the phone rang and Neil said he had the fencing" said Quigley, noting she asked him "how?"

Ken Goodwin from Fisher's Foodland in Cobourg had read the story and offered to pick up the tab to replace the fencing.

In later conversations, Quigley talked to Goodwin about the gesture.

"(Goodwin) said "how do you not help someone when they have given so much to everybody?" she said "that's the kind of respect Neil had."

"Neil was the kind of person who was your friend, but he was your mentor too" Quigley added.

George Quigley said Cane offered his time very generously for minor hockey.

"We have to thank his family because we used him a lot and he didn't mind" he said. "He was with us a lot of times when he could've been around the house."

"Cane will be missed by the entire community" Quigley said.

"That's what it is; a community loss" he said.

Cane was the beloved husband of Shirley, father of John (Lena), Laurie  (Craig Dynes) Peter, Cathy and David and grandfather to Cody, Courtney, Aaron, Joshua, Jason (Deb) and Robyn. He is survived by his sister Ruth Bolderstone and predeceased by his brothers Lorne (Bus), Gordon, Bob, Doug, Harry (Mike), Ken, Allen, Percy (Bud) and several half brothers and sisters. He is fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews.

If desired, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society.


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2010 Cobourg Angels

By Patsy Currelly Hand

Cobourg Angels, Junior Angels, & Surrounding Teams 

1987 was a very successful year for the Angels.  With the loss of a few players and the addition of a few, the Angels were successful in acquiring another Ontario Senior Tier II championship vs. Sarnia.  Devlin pitched all games during the championship with 30Ks, 6 walks. The team were finalists in Senior Tier I with Elaine being named MVP pitching 43 innings. The team also were Metro League Champs.  Members of this team were:  Nancy Cronin, Patsy Currelly, Suzanne Morrow, Leah Anne Oulahen, Jacki Oulahen, Elaine Devlin, Barb Snedden, Jackie Dusenbury, Nancy Jane Dalgarno, Lynn Tracey, Debbie Gillis, Jennifer Dalgarno, Vicki Wodzak, Coaches: Ray Bickle, Jim Morrow, John Hayden, Scorer Sharon Greavette. 

As Paul Currelly was not on the field with the Angels, he along with veteran Angels, Faye Gaudet, Jan Bradford, current Angel Suzanne Morrow and Bill Zinkie formed the Cobourg Junior Angels.  This gave girls an opportunity to play rep ball in the squirt, novice, bantam, midget and juvenile division.  The current Angels put on clinics to teach girls the basics.  Paul spearheaded a new league, the Lakeshore Girls Softball Association and contacted centres along the lakeshore for the Cobourg girls to compete with.  This organization continues today and has grown to include house league teams.  

1988 brought with it many changes. The team moved up to Senior Tier I and played in a league which included teams from Chinguacousy, Cedar Hill, Agincourt, Richmond Hill, Pickering, Bramalea, Tonawanda (New York), Dorchester, St. Clements, Oakville, Kitchener, and St. Catharines.  Many weekends were spent on the ballfield playing double headers with the western teams.  Sandy Claus pitcher/player/coach joined the coaching team as well as Art Dalgarno (scorer).  

Paul Currelly returned to coach first base, Morrow on third.  They were Ottawa tournament champs and led their division throughout the year.  In the Tier I Ontario championships they went to the finals and lost to Oakville 4-2. Elaine Devlin was MVP at this tournament and was subsequently picked up by Oakville to go to the Canadians in Newfoundland.  She had an ERA of 0.64 over 42 innings. 

1989 marked the end of an era.  The team did well, winning the Milverton Classic Tournament, they ended up 2nd in the Senior Tier I league.  Elaine was picked up by BC to go to a New Zealand International Tournament and Jackie Oulahen got a tryout with the Canadian National team to represent Canada at the worlds, however it was not to be as she fractured her finger before tryouts. As a team, things started to break down off the field. During the season, Patsy and Paul Currelly decided it was probably going to be their last year. They didn't announce this so no one else on the team really knew. 

At the end of the season, a group of players decided that they weren’t happy with the direction the team was going and a handful of players called a player meeting to voice their opinions about their desire to invoke a staff change. As with many successful teams, individual egos can cloud good judgment and greed can replace gratitude. Comments were made that did not “sit well” with everyone.  The result was the Currelly’s followed through with retiring from the team. Jim Morrow and John Hayden followed.  Others left the team, too, including star pitcher, Elaine Devlin. The players were left without a coach and without enough players to field a team. 

Fortunately for them, the 1990 season progressed somewhat as planned.  Harnden and King agreed to sponsor the team.  A team from Scarborough coincidentally named the Angels had folded due to lack of players and they contacted the Cobourg girls to see if they could join forces.  Charlie Fraser stepped into coach as well as ex-Angel Marg Matthews, and former Angel pitcher Janice Crosgrey returned. The team did well and played in the Senior Tier I loop for regular season play and were able to capture the Ontario Senior Tier I Championship and went to the Canadians finishing 5th overall.  

Members of this team were:  Teresa Hutchison, Tami Waters, Su Morrow, Nancy Jane Dalgarno, Jennifer Dalgarno, Kirsten Leis, Nancy Cronin, Marilyn Lang, Jackie Dusenbury, Jackie Oulahen, Isobel Nichols, Janyce Gunn, Barb Sneddon, Janice Crosgrey, Sherry Hoffman. (Mary Jo McCarthy, Lyn McMahon, Wendy Dobbin and coach Marg Skillen were picked up for the Canadian Championships). At provincials, Isabel Nichols was the batting champion and Jackie Oulahen was named MVP. The Senior Angels continued for the 1991 season and competed in the Senior Tier I league but due to lack of players they folded after that season. 

The Junior Angels organization however picked up the torch.  1990 was an amazing year for the Sophomore Junior Angels coached by Paul Wakely and Henry Heideman.  Having gone to the finals in 1988 and 1989, they successfully won the Ontario title vs St. Catharines .  Marianne McMillan was the tournament MVP batting .471. Members of this team were: Marianne McMillan, Launa Foreman, Christina Winkworth, Tracey Davis, Lorrie Calbury, Lori Hibbard, Dianne Gray, Charlene Winkworth, Kelly Moore, and Karen Rose.

1992 saw the coaching duo of Paul Currelly and Jim Morrow reunite on the field to coach the Junior Angels Wimpy Mineral Intermediate team and later the Morrow Transport Intermediate Angels, along with coach Bryan Rose.  They continued to coach together until the 1995 season.  

1994 brought another Ontario title home to Cobourg.  The Jr. Angel Junior Tier II team coached by Pat Mowat were successful in capturing the title against Owen Sound.  Kristen Buttars captured the top pitcher award in the tournament and Connie Sturzenegger was the top hitter batting .667, including 1 HR, 3 triples and 6 singles.  Members of this Ontario Championship team were:  Kristen Buttar, Sharon Taylor, Connie Sturzenegger, Angie Adams, Anne Macklin, Janice McIvor, Racquel Nelson, Joanne Chadwick, Kelly Bax, Krissy Doherty, Kerri-Lee Dahmer, Ted Hook (coach) and Pat Mowat (coach). 

As time progressed and there was no longer a Senior Angel team, the “Junior” was dropped from the Angel team title.

2000 brought another Ontario title to Cobourg in Bantam Tier II, coached by Steve Jones, Joe Brouwers, Faye Gaudet and Greg Oulahen. The team beat Brampton in the finals and the team members were:  Amy Shannon, Stephanie Jones, Melissa Henke, Kristel Gallagher, Sarah Winter, Sarah Clarke, Julia Hayden, Liz Oulahen, Kelly Nalysnyk, Megan Brouwers, Dana Spicer, Karlee Haynes and Laura Burnham.   

In 2003, another Ontario Championship Gold medal was achieved by a Cobourg Angel team.  In the Midget category, the Angels defeated Ajax in extra innings to claim the title.  Members of this team were:  Arianne Allen, Alice Sutcliffe, Dana Spicer, Sarah Clarke, Amy Shannon, Stephanie Jones, Jessalyn Glinski, Sarah Winter, Kelly Nalysnyk, Dawn Armstrong, Erica Prins, Head coach Bill Shannon, Manager Susan Spicer, and assistant coaches Steve Jones, Andrew Allen, and Paul Currelly.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Dave Clarke’s Angels accomplished 3 consecutive Ontario Titles in Junior Tier II, a feat not previously achieved in the history of the Angels.  Members of this very talented team were in 2008:  Erica Dewey, Nicole Blake, Erin Dewey, Lisa Clarke, Allie Rutherford, Alex Oosterhof, Breann Coulson, Sarah Clarke, Sam Harrison, Christina Murchie, Taylor Cook, Coaches Dave Clarke, Steve Jones, Kerry McDonald and Angie Adams Darlinson (asst. coach).  

The 2009 team won four straight games to clinch their second Junior Tier II Ontario title.  Christina Murchie pitched all four games beating Halton Hills, Cambridge, Brampton and Ancaster. The highlight of the final game was an out of the park home run by Erin Dewey but it was her sister, Erica Dewey, who earned the tournament MVP.  This team included:  Erica Dewey, Nicole Blake, Erin Dewey, Lisa Clarke, Allie Rutherford, Gina Maloney, Sam Harrison, Nikki Wilson, Christina Murchie, Taylor Cook. Head Coach Dave Clarke, coach Steve Jones, Assistant coach Sarah Clarke and Manager Kerry McDonald.  

2010 would bring yet another Ontario Junior Tier II title to this team.  An achievement yet to be matched by any Angel team, past or present.  The Angels would beat Brampton in the final by a huge margin of 12-5!  Team members were:  Allie Rutherford, Lisa Clarke, Nikki Wilson, Taylor Cook, Erin Dewey, Jess McIntyre, Erica Dewey, Christina Murchie, Julia Bateman, Gina Maloney, Nicole Blake, Sam Harrison, Coach, Dave Clarke, Steve Jones, Mike Murchie and Manager, Kerry McDonald. 

Most recently, the Cobourg Angels represented the Town winning the Eastern Canadian Softball Championship, Novice Tier 2 in 2017 and were coached by Faye Gaudet, Kate Reed, Kristen Lalande and Chris Lalande. Players included Amelia Pettipas, Reagan Lalande, MacKenzie Mamers, Braelyn Farrell, Megan Geurts, Taylee Herman, Grace Rice, Ava Hughes, Megan Sheehan, Macie Hackney, Lilah Klassen, Kaycee Craig, (Madison Depencier from the Chatham Eagles was picked up for the Canadians).  Depencier won the top pitcher and batting recognition but it was Cobourg’s Reagan Lalande who would win the overall MVP honours for the tournament.  

The Cobourg Junior Angels organization continues to this day with both house league and rep teams in the mite to midget division.  What began as a dream for one man has flourished into an organization where girls not only learn and enjoy the game of softball but discover the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, fair play and a positive work ethic, building self-esteem and confidence.  

Many, many Angels have returned to the ball field to pass these values to the next generation either as a coach, a manager, scorekeeper, executive member or supporter. The positivity of sport continues.

Cobourg Angels
1987      Ontario Senior Tier II Gold medalists vs Sarnia, Ontario Senior Tier I finalists vs Dorchester. Ontario Regional Gold Medalists vs Belleville, Metro League Champions.
1988      Ontario Senior Tier I Silver Medalists vs Oakville, Ottawa Tournament Champions
1989      Eastern Division Senior Tier I League Champions, Milverton Classic tournament champions vs St. Catharines
1990      Ontario Senior Tier I champions 

Cobourg Junior Angels Ontario Champions 1990-2020
1990      Ontario Sophomore (previously Juvenile) Championship
1994      Ontario Junior Tier II Championship
2000      Ontario Bantam Tier II Championship
2008      Ontario Junior Tier II Championship
2009      Ontario Junior Tier II Championship
2010      Ontario Junior Tier II Championship
2017      Eastern Canadian Novice Tier II Championship

Updated August 2020

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Marty Kernaghan was born on August 9, 1958, in Grafton, Ontario to proud parents Patricia and Jack Kernaghan. From early on, Marty demonstrated exceptional skills in his chosen sports - hockey and fastball.

From 1969 through 1977, he won 3 Ontario Amateur Softball Association championships. He also won an Ontario Baseball Association championship in 1970, and an Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship in 1978.

In 1978, Marty left the Cold Springs Cats and joined the Oshawa Tony's Fastball team as a right fielder. Tony's went on to the International Softball Congress (ISC) Tournament that year and Marty hit three home runs.

The following year, he played in Camrose, Alberta, with a job offer as part of the incentive. The next few years, would see his fastball career take him to Calgary and then on to the Penn Corp team, in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Penn Corp team had their own airplane and would send their pilot to pick up Marty for games and tournaments. The pilot was also a flying instructor and Marty was offered the opportunity to learn to fly. Marty went on to become a corporate licensed pilot.

From 1984 through 1995, he played in 11 International Softball Conference world tournaments as a short stop or third baseman, and missed only the 1994 season due to a broken leg. He was a member of championship teams for the American Softball Association and the Softball Canada National Championships.

He was also a member of Team Canada for the 1983 Pan Am Championships and the 1992 ISF Men's World Championship, winning gold in both competitions. Marty Kernaghan was voted ISC All World eight times – four times to the first team and four times to the second team. He batted .361, on 60 hits, in 166 at bats, scored 31 times, and registered 36 RBI's. In 2002, Marty Kernaghan was elected to the ISC Fastball Hall of Fame. In 2017, Marty was inducted into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame along with his team mates from the 1992 Canadian Men's World Championship team.


Softball-Fastpitch-Grafton Annual Tournament

Grafton Tourney

July 1973 – July 2012
The institution known as the Grafton Annual Ball Tournament started as a result of Paul McIntosh retiring the tournament he hosted in Cold Springs. Ann and Dick Raymond met with Pat & Jack Kernaghan in the spring of 1973 and a fastball tournament became the topic of discussion. With no local tournament, a good facility and avid fastball fans why couldn’t we host a tournament.

With this in mind we approached the local arena and park board for support. They did not feel that this would be a financial success and so declined our offer. Still feeling we had a good idea Ann and Dick would take on the financial responsibility for the first tournament.

The intention of this tournament was to attract local teams and their families to our facility. We were interested in promoting our community and facility. The last weekend in July 1973 saw 12 men’s teams compete, between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, on two diamonds (now known as Diamond # 1 & # 3) for a nominal prize of $100.00. Over the years the main tournament prize was “Bragging Rights”.

The first tournament was deemed to be a success so why not add a ladies’ division. The 1974 event hosted 18 teams including 7 ladies’ teams.
In 1975 the tournament was rained out and the final 4 games were played on the following Sunday afternoon. (The only time in the history of the tournament that this happened.)

By 1976 the tournament had grown to 34 teams, therefore, a third ball diamond was added to the park. That diamond is now known as Diamond # 2 to the north of the arena. This area had been used by the soccer players, however, in the previous years the game of soccer had been moved to new facilities in Colborne.

In 1976 the tournament introduced a “Dance” event on the Saturday night. This event turned into a social time for participants to visit and reminisce. Many of those years saw over 1,000 people converge on the floor of the arena. In those years the alcohol would be served from the north east corner of the facility and the beer would be served from the north west corner. A multitude of cases of various brands of beer would be cooled in a reefer outside the building. For many years Don Hare and the Wicklow Warriors Ball team would be responsible for managing the liquor sales. The dances continued until 1991.

The tournament by 1980, had grown to 48 teams. It was going to be almost impossible to host all the games in Grafton so that year a number of games were played in the Baltimore Ball park. We like to support other facilities in our area, however, one of the objectives was to support our own facility so Diamond # 4 was built in the north east corner of the property.

During the life of the tournament many people stayed at local camp grounds, hotels and motels, purchased sporting goods in Cobourg, and ate in the local restaurants. The list of services offered goes on and on.

A multitude of local businesses supported this tournament through program advertising and team awards. There are thousands of ball tournament hats and tee shirts being worn in Southern Ontario. In 1981 Labatt’s Brewery came on board. In 1982 the Labatt’s Skydiving Team dropped onto Diamond # 1 at noon on Saturday. In 1983 the Labatt’s Hot Air Balloon took spectators for a ride to see the park from new heights. We enjoyed their sponsorship for many years.

As the years went by the tournament continued to grow and in 1984 boasted the largest number of participants with 32 men’s and 20 ladies’ teams playing 96 games on 5 diamonds starting on Thursday evening and concluding Sunday night. The new Diamond # 5 was created in the south west corner of the property.

The tournament was now known as one of the largest fastball tournaments in Southern Ontario in what was deemed to be one of the best facilities. Over these years the Raymond’s and the Kernaghan’s had followed Marty Kernaghan’s softball career to various facilities in both Canada and the USA. When attending other ball fields Jack and Dick would always be checking out the facility to see if they had something we could add to ours. Jack always wanted dugouts on diamond # 1. Never happened. After years of operating a canteen out of makeshift buildings we did get an appropriate outdoor facility. Numerous players were amazed to see such a facility in a small community. This was a ”Compliment” to everyone who had been involved over the years.

By 1990, Marty Kernaghan, a well-known Grafton Softball player, was touted as one of the best fastball players in the world. He was playing ball for Penn Corp based in Sioux City, Iowa. The team was going to be in Ontario during the time of the Grafton Tournament and we arranged for that team to compete against a team of “Select” players coached by Bill Elliott. Much to the amazement of the hundreds of spectators in the park on Friday July 20th Bill Elliott’s Select Team defeated Penn Corp by a score of 5–4.

In 1992 Marty Kernaghan and the Penn Corp team were invited back to Grafton to challenge Elliott Bros. Cleaners one more time. This time Penn Corp defeated Elliott Bros. Cleaners 5–2.

Things did not always go as planned: very rarely did we finish at the advertised time, many games were re-scheduled due to rain and maybe you played in Centreton in the wee hours on a Sunday morning in order to get everything back on track. Ball players understand that ball diamonds do not come with a roof – you play in all sorts of weather conditions.

As mentioned previously, with the increased interest in the tournament the facility grew to accommodate the event. Diamonds were added. Temporary snow fencing was replaced with permanent fencing. Lights on diamond # 1 were upgraded. A score keeping facility was built. Over the years an electronic scoreboard was erected on diamond # 1 and the field known as diamond #2 got lights. The cost of all of these upgrades was paid for from tournament profit and volunteer help. We now had a premier facility in the hamlet of Grafton. Layton Dodge while sports editor for the Cobourg Star (Northumberland Today and then no daily newspaper) used the quote “On the third weekend in July all roads lead to Grafton”.

The tournament exceeded our original expectations and over the years numerous people came on board to look after the diamonds, collect money at the gate, score keep, help at the bar and canteen facilities and manage the administration during the event. When you joined this team you signed on for life. Over the years we had to say goodbye to a number of faithful volunteers and supporters.

At the first tournament Jim Spiers volunteered as the chief umpire. During those first few years many local umpires volunteered their support. As the tournament grew and at least 10 umpires were needed for every hour of tournament this responsibility was turned over to the local association.

As stated previously Layton Dodge was the sports editor at the Cobourg Star when the tournament started. Layton always took holidays in July and still continued to promote and report the event by Wednesday of the following week. The local coverage was never the same after Layton’s retirement. He took great pride in showcasing all local athletes. He was a scorekeeper/announcer in each of the 40 years of the tournament.

With the turn of the century we were experiencing a decline in fastball participation by both men and women. The local leagues were forced to fold and players had to travel outside the area in order to continue enjoying the game. With the decline in interest it was becoming extremely difficult to host an event that would attract both players and spectators.

In the spring of 2012, it was decided that 40 years was a great run. The volunteers were aging but did not want to quit so we made a difficult but necessary decision. As word spread that this would be the final tournament many ballplayers contacted friends and made up teams so that they could say that they played in the Last Grafton Tournament. One person played in the first and last tournament. A total of 16 mens’ teams and 6 ladies’ teams competed in 2012.

At the final tournament only Jack Kernaghan, Ann & Dick Raymond and Layton Dodge could say that they had been involved for every event. However, Tanya Stittle (Raymond) and Tara Raymond had been at every tournament since the day of their birth. At first they had no choice but then they caught the fever and along with the rest of us have many wonderful memories.

Submitted By Ann & Dick Raymond

Updated August 2020

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Softball-Fastpitch-Cold Springs Cats 2000-04

Cold Spring Cats

By Ewart Timlin, Manager   Edited by Donna Cole

The Scarborough Blues won four straight games to capture the OASA Masters Elimination Tournament at Mitchell for the second consecutive year. The Blues and the runner-up Kitchener Waterloo Classics qualified to represent Ontario in the Eastern Canadian Masters competition in August of 2000.

The Cats won our opener 8-1 over Sudbury and then lost to Scarborough. We rebounded from the loss to win the next three straight: 8-0 over Cobourg, 9-5 over Sudbury again, and 4-1 over Mitchell. However, we were eliminated by K.W. Classics in the semi-final. Roger Cole, who hurled in all or part of the club's six matches, was named the Most Valuable Player in the tournament.

Toronto McMurphys won all four of their starts to take the OASA Masters Elimination tournament in Mitchell this year. Nine teams took part and it marked the first time a Toronto team had won the event. In 2000, the title was taken by the Scarborough Blues, and the Cold Springs Cats won the championship the first three years the category was offered by the OASA.

In 2001, we finished third in the nine-team event with a 3-2 record. The Cats nipped Scarborough Blues 2-1 in the opener but then lost to Toronto before coming back to blank Mitchell Masters 5-0 and squeeze past the Blues again 5-4. Then we were eliminated by Oshawa in the semi-final.

Although we finished out of the money in Mitchell, Chris Calbury, Roger Cole and I decided to host the Eastern Canadian Masters Championship in Baltimore in September. After several telephone calls and meetings, we managed to engage two teams from out-of-province, namely Fredericton, N.B. and Calgary, Alberta. They joined the Ontario teams of Cobourg, Oshawa, Scarborough, Fingal, Toronto, and of course the host Cats. On a bright, warm weekend the Cold Springs team went undefeated in the competition as we won our three round robin matches 3-1 over Fredericton, 9-0 over Fingal, and 1-0 over Oshawa.

In the gold medal game against Oshawa in the seventh frame, Roger Cole fired a 1-2-3 punch to send the 1-1 tie into the eighth inning. In the bottom of the eighth, Bill Shannon laid down a perfect bunt single before advancing to second on a Stephen Mitts sacrifice bunt. Shannon then charged to third on a wild pitch. With only one out, Oshawa decided to walk the next two Cold Springs batters, loading the bases and hoping to force the Cats into a double play.

However, things didn't work out as planned. With two strikes against Ray Bickle and the bases loaded, another errant Oshawa pitch sent Shannon racing for home, but he never made it there. He was tripped and tagged out but the umpire called interference and the run counted, giving the Cats a 2-1 championship victory. Another dramatic finish! Besides winning the title on the field, the Cats helped to provide a good sum of money for the new Baltimore Arena as well.

In 2002, the Stoney Creek Gators won six straight games to win their first OASA Masters Championship in a ten-team tournament at Ingersoll. Later in the summer, the Gators won the Eastern Canadian Masters Championship at Fredericton, N.B.! According to the tournament director Bruce Wills, the total number of teams dropped to four because the Ontario club was allowed 35-40 year olds and the Maritime teams had older players. Thus, two teams decided not to participate.

In the Ontario Championship this year, the Cats defeated Ingersoll and Mount Elgin. However, we were eliminated with two losses to Mitchell 6-2 and Stoney Creek 9-4.

In the winter of2002-2003, Roger Cole and I decided that the Cats would probably fold because of the diminishing supply of appropriately-aged players in the area. Consequently, I helped Alec Rutherford with another Masters team, namely the Colborne Merchants. We worked along with Harry Jeschke, Legion Fields manager, to bring the OASA Masters Championship to Cobourg, where the Cold Springs club had hosted it in 1997.

Later in the spring, Roger made last minute phone calls to Gary Latchford and Mike O'Hearn to try to muster up players from the defunct Scarborough Blues team. Gary and Michael were successful in recruiting two valuable players - namely Mike Raccioppio and Mark Thompson - from the former Scarborough team. Also, another significant addition was Mike McCaw, whom Don Goodfellow recruited out of Belleville. Thus, along with the old stalwarts and new bodies, the Cats were rebuilt in 2003, and I was wearing two hats.

The Masters Championship schedule that materialized was composed of teams in three distinct divisions. In Division B, the Cats dominated by winning all three of their starts: 4-3 over Waterloo on a sixth inning home run by Mike McCaw and a four-hitter by Gary Vowles, 11-9 over Stoney Creek, and 15-0 over Fingal.

In quarter-final play, Cold Springs advanced with a 6-0 victory over Cobourg, behind Gary Vowles who gave up just four hits in recording the shutout. The Cats reached the final with a 5-2 decision over Stoney Creek, thanks to a grand slam in the fifth by Mike McCaw. Gary Vowles threw five innings for the win and held Stoney Creek runless.

The Cats seemed to "run out of gas" in the gold medal final against Oshawa. As I recalled in the 2001 Eastern Canadian Masters Championship game against the same team, we were victorious. This, perhaps, gave the Oshawa team the incentive to win the rematch in front of 350 fans at Legion Fields. The final outcome was a resounding win by Oshawa: 8-1.

Nevertheless, the Cold Springs club qualified, along with Oshawa, to play in the Eastern Canadian Championship at Truro, N.S. in September. In the Ontario tournament the Top Pitcher award was presented to Gary Vowles, who threw 21 innings with a 1.0209 ERA. Mike Raccioppio was the top hitter batting 9 for 18 at the plate.

Four Cats players from the silver medal winning squad - Mike McIvor, Ray Bickle, Mark Thompson, and Gary Latchford - did not travel east to the Maritimes that year. In their place we chose Ron Rosengren of Mississauga and Tim Chant of Cobourg, both members of the Colborne Merchants, as well as Cobourg Masters player Robbie Ellis, of Campbellford. I felt that these players would add the extra hitting depth to the club. We already had solid pitching with Roger Cole, Gary Vowles and Jim Oakman making the road trip east.

The Cold Springs Cats captured the bronze medal at the 2003 Eastern Canadian Masters Championship, held in Truro. We opened the tournament on Friday with a 1-0 setback against Durham, N.S.. However, Roger Cole pitched a gem and was named the Cats Most Valuable Player with a two-hitter.

On Saturday, the Cats rebounded with a 7-0 mercy victory over Glasgow, N.S.. Gary Vowles, with some fine hitting and pitching, was named the game's MVP. In game three, Cold Springs defeated Fredericton, N.B. 7-6. In the bottom of the seventh inning with two out and the game deadlocked at 6-6, Tim Chant cracked a homerun to give the Cats the win. Tim was named the game MVP while Jim Oakman and Gary Vowles combined for the win on the mound.

Cold Springs posted their third straight victory of the day, another 7-6 decision, over Calgary, Alberta in game four. With his fine fielding play and strong hitting, Chant earned the second MVP nod of the tournament. Vowles and Cole combined for the victory, Cold Springs' 3-1 record tied us for first in our pool with Minesing, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta. In the Cats first playoff game on Sunday, our bats were silenced when Calgary mercied us 7-0. Calgary went on to win the Eastern Canadian Championship, defeating Minesing 2-0 in the gold medal final. Thus, the Cats gained a third-place finish. Another highlight of the tournament was the hitting of a true Cats stalwart - Stephen Mitts. He finished the round robin play with an amazing .769 batting average.

On the East Coast we had an excellent time in rekindling old acquaintances. However, on the field our power hitters didn't come through in key situations, which accounted for our flat finish in the tournament.

In 2004, after staging two fund-raising events with the great help of Bill Elliott, Barry Dawe, and Roger Cole the Cats planned to compete in at least 2 fastball tournaments. One was basically an intermediate tournament (The Jim Bradford Classic) held in Baltimore during June. The other was the Masters Eliminations (The Jack Cook Classic) held in Port Perry in July. The OASA elimination tournament in Port Perry is staged in honour of the late Jack Cook, who was an ardent worker in the OASA as a president, secretary and convenor.

I remember Jack distinctly one September in the mid 1990's after the Eastern Canadian Championship in his hometown, when he greeted me with the usual "old farmer" salutation. Then we discussed the current status of the softball world, after which Jack walked to Diamond One, where he succumbed to a major heart attack. What a tragic ending for such a fine person.

At the Masters level, especially, a manager requires a great deal of help in enlisting players from year to year. In this regard, I discovered that Mike McCaw and Mike O'Hearn fit the bill to a "T". The former was responsible for recruiting a fine fielding catcher - Darren Crouter, and the latter a fleet footed outfielder, Steve Mo.
We entered the Jim Bradford Classic with two basic goals in mid-June. One was to practice together as a team and the second was to have fun while participating.

Consequently, we achieved both goals in Baltimore. On Friday, we started the tournament slowly as Cobourg Stingers humbled us 11-3. But then we roared back on Saturday with wins over Peterborough Juniors 8-1 and Stittsville 7-3. This placed us in the playoffs against Belleville on Sunday, when unfortunately, because of base running miscues in the early frames, we didn't score a run and were defeated 3-0.

Our second tournament occurred in Port Perry where we began the Masters Eliminations on Friday with a convincing victory 9-2 over Cloyne (comprised mainly of former fastball superstars). On Saturday we suffered our first loss at the hands of Kitchener-Waterloo (4-3) and a major setback to our long-time pitching ace Roger Cole when he severely injured his arm. Later that same day, the Cats clobbered Chepstow (8-2).

In the preliminary round, because of our wins and our hefty plus, minus aggregate we gained a first-place finish in our division. This standing meant we crossed over Sunday to meet our long-standing rivals, Oshawa in our first playoff game. We gained some revenge for the 2003 loss to Winchester-Arms in the final by defeating Oshawa 5-1. Later that morning we were defeated by Colborne 3-1 which placed us in the bronze medal game with Stoney Creek. Luckily, in the 7th inning we scrambled back to beat the Gators 3-1 and gain a 3rd place finish in the 15 team elimination tournament. In the tournament Gary Vowles came to the forefront and pitched stupendously during 5 and ½ games.

At the time of this writing, the Cats are preparing to attend the World Senior Fastball Tournament in North Bay on Labour Day Weekend. In one regard, it has been a disastrous summer of '04 in the fact that because of a serious arm injury, Roger Cole has been forced to hang up his pitching shoes after a long and illustrious career. I've told Roger, on a few occasions that when he retires from pitching, I'll retire from managing. This is perhaps, the cue to disappear from the fastball scene. However, that World's Masters Tournament in Edmonton in 2005 sounds very appealing. Well! That belongs to another chapter in a future book. Perhaps .... maybe .... I'll think about it.

During the last 30 years, I was fortunate enough to have been surrounded by several great ball players. This has resulted in winning 7 Ontarios, 2 Canadians, 1 Eastern Canadian, 1 Finalist, and at least 2 third place finishes. However, as I have stated before winning laurels is only one aspect of participating in this great game of fastball.

Another very important aspect is making and rebuilding friendships. In competing against eight provinces and territories, and US teams from states such as Ohio and New York, I have acquired relationships that will certainly last a lifetime.

My sincere appreciation is extended to Shannon Cole and Donna Cole for proofreading and transcribing my ramblings. Also, a great deal of thanks goes to the following people, publications, and facilities for providing reference material: Layton Dodge, Peter Handley, Darryl Thompson, Bonnie Timlin, Ray Bickle, Cobourg Star, "High and Inside", New Brunswick Telegraph and Journal, Softball Ontario News, and the Gordon King Centre.


Cold Springs Cats - Players and Management    "Through The Years"    
Rick Ainsworth               Rob Ellis                             Stan McKnight

Maurice Alderson          Gary Ferguson                   Craig Minifie
Roger Alexander            Ivan Ferguson                   Steve Mitts
Brian Beatty                   Wayne Ferguson               Steve Mo         
Phil Beatty                      Neil Francis                       Howie Mouncey 
Dave Bemma                 Murray Garrick                   Steve Neeley                
Ray Bickle                      Mike Gibson                      Tim Neron            
                                       Don Goodfellow                 Bernie Nicholls
Perry Bowles                 Paul Goodfellow                Jim Oakman                       
Terry Bowles                  Craig Gray                         Dave O'Connell               
Jim Bradford                  Rob Hardy                          Mike O'Hearn                            
Les Brill                          Dave Hare                         Gord Oosterhoff                   
 Don Burkitt                    Kent Harper                       Rick Palmateer                      
Jim Burkitt                      Paul Hasson                      Mike Raccippio                           
Allan Burnham               Dave Hedger                     Ed Ristan                                 
Eric Buttars                                           
Bill Buys                        Ron Herriot                         Bill Rollings
Chris Calbury                Rob Hook                           Pat Rutherford
Bill Campbell                Gary Hope                          Dave Ruthowsky
Doug Campbell             Mike Irwin                           Bill Ryan
Bill Cane                       Terry Irwin                           Frank Schram
John Cane                     Lorne Jamieson                 Bill Shannon
Peter Cane                    Rick Jaynes                        Phil Solomon
Bill Carrigan                  Marty Kernaghan                Randy Sughrue
Tim Chant                      Pete Landers                     Lynn Thackeray
Jim Chase                      Larry Landry                      Mark Thompson
Rick Clark                       Harold Lang                       Ewart Timlin
Roger Cole                     Scott Lang                         Greg Timlin
Brian  Condon                Gary Latchford                  Jeff Timlin
Mike Connolley              Terry Lewis                         Ross Timlin
Chris Cook                     Stu Little                             Dave Tinney
Darren Crouter               Don MacDonald                 Steve Virag
Phil Crouter                    Bryan Madge                     Gary Vowles
Andy Dalgarno               Todd March                        Roger Wakeman
Barry Dawe                    Paul Marineau                    Dave Waldie
Brain Dolley                   John Maughan                   Scott Wasson
Dan Donahue                 Mike May                           Joe Watters
Rob Doncaster               Mike McCaw                      Wayne Wells
Terry Elinsky                   Roger Mcintosh                 Kevin Woodward
Bill Elliott                         Mike McIvor    
Don Elliott        


Reviewed August 2020

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