Elaine Devlin was born in Indian River, a rural area of Peterborough, the eldest of six children. Her parents made things work, providing their children with various opportunities, including playing sports. She played City League Softball in Peterborough and played in the Ontario Rural Softball Association.
As a teenager, Elaine would go to watch the Cobourg Angels play against the Lakefield Kingdon Lumber Ladies. It was amazing to watch and she hoped that one day she would be a good enough softball player to play at that level. She couldn’t believe it when she got invited by Paul Currelly & Jim Morrow to play for the Cobourg Angels, starting in 1984. She was apprehensive, not sure if she was good enough, but thanks to an amazing coaching staff, fantastic catchers, and supportive team members and her own personal commitment to the sport she loved, she thrived in Cobourg.
Elaine Devlin’s contributions to sports locally and her astounding athletic accomplishments, both in our area and elsewhere, have been exceptional.
Elaine resided in our area for a total of 10 years (Cobourg, Colborne, and Grafton), and has maintained athletic connections to our community throughout her life. She also worked in local schools for 6 years – 3 at St. Joseph’s, in Cobourg, and 3 at St. Mary’s, in Grafton. During these years, she coached many school teams in a variety of different sports. Elaine is a character in Judy Peers children’s book “Shark Attack”, which features a few other local softball legends, too, such as Marty Kernaghan, and is dedicated to Elaine’s favourite coach, Paul Currelly.
Her competitive softball career was catapulted in 1984 when she was recruited by Paul Currelly and became a Cobourg Angel. She played for the Angels from 1984-1989. She was recruited by Sam Houston State University, in Texas, where she played out her 2 years of eligibility and set season records for saves, shutouts, and ERA as well as a career record for ERA’s (which stands as of 2019). She still holds top 7 records for Sam Houston pitching in seven categories despite the fact she only played for 2 years, where most pitchers play for 4.
Needless to say, Elaine has earned many MVP awards and was, and continues to be, recognized both locally and provincially over the years for her incredible talents. One of her most prestigious MVP awards was at the Canadian Championships where she was tournament MVP and had an ERA of 0.00. During her time playing with the Cobourg Angels, the team medaled 9 times at provincials, including 3 golds, largely influenced by the fact that her pitching was phenomenal. During these years, she was picked up by other teams 3 times to represent Ontario at the Canadian Championships. She pitched many no-hitters.
Since the 1980’s, she has coached and run pitching clinics, helping the Junior Angels organization. Elaine was instrumental in developing the Colborne Ladies team, while living in the Grafton area.
“Dev” has competed in 34 provincial championships, 17 Canadian championships, and at least 5 World Championships/International competitions (1 gold, 1 bronze) and has coached at 20 Provincial championships (5 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze), 12 Canadian championships (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), and 3 World Championships/International competitions (3 gold). Phenomenal!
Elaine is the kindest person off the field. She would literally give you the shirt off her back. However, on the field there is a different person on the mound. She is sportsmanlike but is very competitive and very hard on herself to be perfect. It was this conviction for perfection that literally made her appear as a bull with fire coming out of her nostrils!! Angels catcher, Patsy Currelly states, “That was an intimidating face to confront as a batter.
As a catcher, it was perfect! The batters were literally shaking in the batter's box and to top it off, she could hit the target nearly 100% of the time. She was a catcher’s dream (although a couple of times I would have to come to the mound to slow her down and also for my own protection – she sometimes had a habit of throwing her mid-60 mph fastball over the plate after the signal was called but before I could get the glove up and get set!). She never shook off a call – Never –(which is unheard of), and was the best pitcher I ever caught. Ever. She is someone I can call a forever friend. Her determination, commitment to team play, to teammates, to coaches and the art of her sport are unheard of.”
Elaine also played hockey (goalie) for both the Rice Lake Rebels and Baltimore Predators, winning an OWHA provincials with Baltimore, in 1989. When she played with Rice Lake, it was “Sr. A” which was the highest level of women’s hockey at the time. All the national team players played in this league so she was participating at a very high level. In 2019, she coached the District 12 55+ women’s hockey team (which includes CDSHF catchment area) to a provincial championship victory, in Huntsville, and will be attending the Canadian Championships in Kamloops, B.C., with the team in August 2022.
In 2011, Elaine was involved in a horrific car accident and suffered a head injury which ended her playing career. She still stays involved in sports as much as her injury allows her to, including coaching. Since her injury, as a coach, she was won 2 World Masters Games championships (softball), a PWSA bronze medal, and a hockey provincial championship with a local team in the 55+ Ontario Winter Games.
She still volunteers in schools when she is able and volunteers with the Ontario Brain Injury Association in supporting others in their brain injury recovery. She sits on their board of Directors (which includes the Cobourg catchment area). She also sits on the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board First Nation, Metis and Inuit Advisory Committee. Her motto is “Passion, Determination, Caring”. Elaine believes everyone has gifts and it is important to share the gifts with which we are blessed.
ADDENDUM: Angels Stats
1984 – Elaine is visited at her home by coaches Paul Currelly and Jim Morrow (knowing dad it was probably in the Fall of 1983 that he went to visit but not sure of that). I know that Elaine was a little apprehensive and not sure if she was “qualified”. I know that they told her not to worry and that “all she had to do was throw strikes, they had the team to field whatever came their way”. 1984 was the Angels first ever Senior Tier II Ontario Title with a record of 44 wins and 6 losses including a 34 game winning streak to start the season and included the Ontario Title.
- Elaine threw a no-hitter that year and had a grand slam home run. She pitched a 17 inning game vs Agincourt Senior Tier I winning the game and was upset when she wasn’t slotted as the starting pitcher for the next game which was less than 30 minutes to start time. She said she was “in a groove” and that she was!! She was voted the teams MVP that year.
1985 - Ontario Senior Tier II gold medal Champions over Norwich. The Angels go undefeated in the Provincial tournament. Elaine allows only 2 runs in 20 innings. She is selected for the Ontario Junior Summer Games Team and receives a scholarship to Sam Houston University in Texas.
1986 - Silver medalists Ontario Senior Tier II championships loss to Sarnia, finalists Mildor Classic tournament. Winners of Metro League regular season.
1987 - Ontario Senior Tier II Gold medalist vs Sarnia, Elaine pitches all four games and gives up 16 hits, has 30 strike-outs and 6 walks.
- Ontario Senior Tier I finalist vs Dorchester (after playing 3 back-to-back games). Elaine Devlin MVP of Tier I tournament after pitching 43 innings .
Team also were Ontario Regional Gold Medalist vs Belleville, Metro League Champions. In a Metro League game she pitches 14 strike-outs in a row and totals 20 strike-outs for the game.
1988 - The team moves up to Senior Tier I and play in a 14 team league. Teams are as close as Pickering and as far away as upper New York State. Many weekends spent playing double headers. The Angels have a successful season including Ontario Senior Tier I Silver Medalists vs Oakville and Ottawa Tournament Champions. Elaine Devlin is named MVP of the Tier I tournament with a 0.64 ERA over 42 innings. She is picked up by Oakville to go to the Canadians in Newfoundland.
1989 - Eastern Division Senior Tier I League Champions, Milverton Classic tournament champions vs St. Catharines. Elaine Devlin is picked up by a BC team to play in an International Tournament in New Zealand.