Don Ball Sr

Don Ball Sr

Many athletes can point to a great game, some to an exceptional season, and a precious few to a great career; but not many athletes can match the longevity of Don Ball Sr. … Football, Hockey, Fastball, Basketball … Don Ball Sr. played them all, at an extremely high level, and won countless championships along the way.

The Left End on the legendary Cobourg Galloping Ghosts Football Team that won the Canadian Intermediate “A” Championship in 1948, Don also was the guard on the Cobourg High School Basketball team that won the Queens University High School Invitational in 1946 and 1947. It was at the hockey rink and on the ball diamond that Don made his most lasting impact. A forward, Don enjoyed a 24-year career on the ice, mostly spent in the Cobourg Mercantile League. Don was renowned for his agelessness and his sportsmanship.

In recognition, the Cobourg Mercantile League annually presented the Don Ball Trophy to the least penalized team in the circuit and in 1971, Don was awarded the Percy Baker Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and ability. On the diamond, Don spent an incredible 37 years as a player, predominantly in the Hamilton Township and Cobourg Mercantile Fastball Leagues. Lovingly referred to as “The Grand Old Man” and “Softball's Gordie Howe”, Don was also the last of the conventional underhanded pitchers in the area, a style of delivery that often befuddled opposing batters.

Approaching 50-years-old, Don was still able to routinely throw perfect innings, while also pacing his team, the Baltimore Merchants, at the plate; an achievement not lost on Layton Dodge. “Just when it seems the sports world is peopled exclusively with cynics and complacent athletes for whom such words as “loyalty” and “the love of the game” are alien, along comes a remarkable individual like Don Ball to restore faith in humanity. That there are such gentlemen on our playing fields is comfort enough; that Don Ball should be still there at age 49 when he should be reaching for the pipe and slippers instead of a Louisville Slugger or a Cooper glove is an unexpected bonus.”


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