Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings

Best wishes to all blog readers for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Fitrzoy Fastball, Mrs. Fastball, the T-ball Caveman and Fitzroy Junior.

Thanks for reading all year long and helping me spread the word about fastball in our area and beyond, as well as providing a venue for me to tell a few stories and share some humour.

For those of you that forward me on stories, information, links, "hot tips", etc. I really appreciate it and keep 'em coming.

For those folks that take the time to write me an email or come over to me at a game or tournament and let me know how much they liked a certain story or the blog in general, thanks a lot. Some of you have even bought me a beer which I REALLY appreciate ha ha. I enjoy operating this little wee piece of the inter-web and it's nice to know others like it too.

Feedback is always welcome at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. It helps reinforce a) that the information I'm posting is useful in helping promote our great game and b) that the things I find hilarious about my family and life in general are actually funny and it's not just me (though maybe sometimes it is).

Blog will dark for a while as I take some time with the fam and away from the computer over the next week - but I can pretty much guarantee I'll have a story or two to tell in early January and I'm also anticipating a new "GOFL Interview" which should be pretty good.

Talk to you all in 2011.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joran Graham named to National Development Team

hat tip to Big Papi on this one

Congratulations to Joran Graham who has been named to the Team Canada development squad for the AAU Tournament in Florida this winter. Details posted on Al's Fastball.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Softball Ontario seeks regional pitching instructors for the 2011 CanPitch program season

Softball Ontario is now accepting applications for the position of Regional Pitching Instructor (Fast Pitch) for Softball Canada's new CANpitch Program. CANpitch is Softball Canada's national pitching program created to provide a nationally standardized curriculum based on Softball Canada's Long-Term Player Development framework to introduce and develop the skill of windmill pitching to children.

Currently Softball Ontario has nine (9) Regional Pitching Instructors who had the opportunity to deliver the CANpitch Program during the 2010 Pilot Season and have expressed interest in returning as RPI's for the 2011 Season. Softball Ontario aims to add more qualified instructors to our team!

The Regional Pitching Instructor (RPI) is responsible to Softball Ontario. The primary role of Softball Ontario's RPI is to be the pitching expert in their host location within Ontario. RPIs will receive instruction and support from Softball Ontario's four (4) Master Pitching Instructors (MPIs) through mentoring and professional development opportunities. Instructors will deliver the CANpitch Program throughout Ontario.

The ideal candidate should have the following qualities:
- Demonstrate a commitment to pitching instruction
- Have strong communication skills
- Have strong leadership ability
- Be a positive role model
- Experience in pitching a requirement; coaching experience an asset

The Regional Pitching Instructor's Duties and Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
- To be accountable and responsible to Softball Ontario
- To commit to and deliver at least one (1) six-week training program to players/parents and coaches throughout the year (as assigned by the Softball Ontario office)
- Mentor local pitchers and coaches in your region in Ontario - Must be pre-approved by Softball Ontario's Pitching Committee
- Attend all training sessions, workshops and participate in conference calls hosted by Softball Ontario, when necessary
- Provide Softball Ontario feedback about the CANpitch Program regarding format, content, and delivery

Each Instructor will be compensated for their delivery of the CANpitch Program at a reasonable hourly rate. Expenses such as meals, mileage and accommodations, if necessary (as per Softball Ontario policy), may also be covered at the regular 6-week training sessions that you will deliver. The items are to be further discussed by the Softball Ontario Pitching Committee in January.

Those who are interested in becoming a Softball Ontario Regional Pitching Instructor please send a letter of interest along with a letter outlining your fast-pitch pitching experience to Carly Laxton, Program Coordinator, at claxton@softballontario.ca or fax (416) 426-7368 by January 3, 2011. (Applications received after business hours (8:30am - 4:30pm) on or after January 3, 2011 will not be accepted for the 2011 season.)

In the coming weeks Softball Ontario will collect and evaluate all applications and invite those individuals we feel would best fit the program based on experience and location- which is essential in order to reach out to participants across Ontario. All candidates MUST be able to attend the Greater Toronto Area FULL two-day training/evaluation weekend on January 15 and 16, 2011. (The training/evaluation weekend must be attended in its entirety.) This two-day weekend will allow out Pitching Committee Members to further evaluate skills and theory to help determine if you will be a good fit for the delivery of the CANpitch Program. Attending this two-day training is the first step to become a CANpitch Regional Pitching Instructor.

For more information about Softball Canada's CANpitch Program please visit the Softball Ontario website: www.softballontario.ca under "CANpitch" or contact Carly Laxton, Program Coordinator, at claxton@softballontario.ca or call (416) 426-7150.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Get well soon, Dave

Word is that Dave Norris, GOFL umpire has recently had heart surgery.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Dave.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Not only that but he had a wicked mullett too

Fitzroy Junior was sorting through some of my old hockey cards tonight from the 80s.

He's still trying to figure out who the "Jets" and "Whalers" are when he starts laughing out loud.

"Ha ha Daddy, check out this guy's name. LaFarte. What a silly name."

"Junior, nobody in the NHL was ever named LaFarte."

"Sure, Daddy, this guy right here."

We'll have to brush up on those reading skills I guess.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

2011 Au Sable Tournament

From Al’s Fastball

Au Sable Tournament 2011
49th Annual Au Sable Forks Fast Pitch Softball Tournament will be held July 8th, 9th and 10th at the Softball Facility in Au Sable Forks, NY for more information contact Team Coordinator Tom O'Neill 518-946-7471 or tpogiantsfan@yahoo.com


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Jack Higgins - Mr Fastball in Kemptville

Jack Higgins was recently honored in Kemptville. Here are a couple of articles in local newspapers:

Jack Higgins’ baseball beginnings
Often we do not realize we are making history when what we really want to do is just have some fun.
Kemptvlle’s Jack Higgins has always been a baseball player, enjoying small town fastball in a big league way.
“You get to be one of the boys, you know,” said Jack Higgins, known as Mr. Fastball, on reflection of his early days playing baseball in Kemptville.
Higgins contributed immeasurably to the North Grenville community over a period of 65 years.
He was born in Oxford Mills in 1923 and settled in Kemptville after he married Mary O’Kane in 1952. Together, they raised seven children.
“I knew Mary for three years before we started dating,” said Higgins. “She was going with this other guy for a while and then my friend told me they weren’t going steady anymore and I said ‘what’s her phone number?’”
Higgins began playing baseball in 1937 for the Kemptville Senior Men’s League. Between 1946 and 1949, he played for the St. Lawrence Senior Men’s within Leeds and Grenville.
“Well I started off playing fastball before the war and then went into the Air Force and played baseball on the Trenton team,” said Higgins. “I played some hockey too. Believe it or not Oxford Mills had a hockey team back then.”
Higgins continued to play baseball for surrounding leagues until 1954. A year later, he organized the first Kemptville Major Softball Tournament.
Over the years, the tournaments have brought in more than 300,000 dollars for the Lions Club of Kemptville.
“I didn’t do it for recognition,” said Higgins. “I did it to have the satisfaction of a job well done.”
A large portion of the proceeds went to funding the construction of the Kemptville Public Pool, the Kemptville District Hospital and the development of Riverside Park. The personal and financial contributions Higgins has made to Leeds and Grenville are profound.
“Home was always home to me,” said Higgins.
Higgins said when he built his house in Kemptville it was surrounded by an orchard. Now, the street is lined with houses.
“There have been a lot of changes in this area,” said Higgins.
“If you go downtown now, you don’t know anybody. There used to be a time when you knew everyone. A stranger stuck out like a sore thumb.”
Higgins said there were too many good moments during his involvement with the tournaments to choose a favourite. He had a lot of fun organizing the events and met some amazing people along the way.
“I remember I was sitting behind the backstop and the umpire and I were talking,” said Higgins. “He said ‘that woman in the stands, she was here last week. She’s making me nervous, like she’s waiting for me to make a mistake.’ I said, ‘you mean the woman with the big straw hat?’ He said, ‘yeah, that’s the one.’ I said, ‘that’s my sister-in-law.’”
Higgins said it was very satisfying working with kids and watching them “get a kick” out of baseball. One of his sons still plays baseball out in Calgary. He said coaching was alright, but he loved to play.
“This one lad got around to third and the coach said ‘go home,’” said Higgins. “The coach looked up and the lad was gone. He was halfway across the field. He was going home. Talk about not being acquainted with the terminology.”

And another article in the Kemptville EMC.

Kemptville's 'Mr. Fastball' recognized for his dedication to sport

Jack Higgins is a native of Kemptville and was born at his homestead in 1923 on Beach Road in Oxford Mills. Jack married Mary O'Kane in 1952 and together they raised seven children.Jack, formally known as Mr. Fastball, starting playing baseball back in 1937 at the age of 14 for the Kemptville Senior Men's League. His unique talent for the game lead him to the St. Lawrence Senior Men's within Leeds and Grenville in 1946-49. Jack also played on the Trenton Air Force Base team while he was in the RCAF from 1941-45. In 1945-49, he played for Hallville/Dundas Senior Men's League, which was the best team in Eastern Ontario for four consecutive years. Jack continued to play in surrounding leagues until 1954. In 1955, Jack organized the first Kemptville Major Softball Tournament. The Kemptville Softball Tournaments: Junior-Intermediate and Senior were known as "softball at its best."Over the years, the tournaments took in more than $300,000 for the Lions Club of Kemptville and many of the proceeds went to the funding of the Kemptville District Hospital, along with the development of Riverside Park. The large impact of revenues for Leeds and Grenville County and spin off dollars that were spent within the different communities was never measured. The success of the initial tournaments in growth was due to the high quality of teams. It took enormous effort on behalf of Jack to coordinate participation of teams from the United States, Maritimes and Quebec. This included the best of umpiring along with the highest prize money in the province of Ontario. In 1963, Jack Higgins added the junior section to the tournament, which added another 16 teams to the tournament, totaling 32 teams.The staff of the tournament became very experienced over the years of service, due in part to Jack Higgins' leadership, management and presentation skills, along with the high calibre of Softball being played. Through meetings in both Windsor and Toronto, and with the support of the Kemptville Lions Club, they secured the (OASA) Ontario Amateur Softball Association Tournament. The tournament took place in 1974 at Riverside Park in Kemptville.Congratulations to Jack Higgins for all of your community support and effort over the past 65 plus years. Jack, you have been an outstanding player, manager, coach, committee and executive member and president. You have made an important contribution to generations of sport enthusiasts in this area.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Unimportant updates

- Mention of Team Canada women's pitcher Danielle Laurie (the "Stephen Strasburg" of women's fastball) and sister of Blue Jay's Canadian-born prospect Brett Laurie in the Globe and Mail today.

- Fitzroy Junior still goalless in Novice B hockey after 12 games. In fact, still pointless. Almost had that elusive first goal in Osgoode on the weekend "That goalie (named Katie) is good, Daddy." But he is tied for the team lead in one stat - PIMs, with 2.

- Caveman random question of the week: "Daddy, what do you think is my fourth favourite colour?" (For the record, it's red.)

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Big news from Kitchener - Rivershark Twins fold

The story on Al's Fastball: http://www.alsfastball.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=5433&cntnt01returnid=124


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Condolences to Chevy

Condolences to Kevin and his family on the death of his mother.

CHEVRIER, Roberta (nee Stanley) Peacefully, in hospital, Shawville, Quebec on November 29, 2010 with her family by her side, after a courageous struggle with cancer, at the age of 73 years. Beloved wife for 52 years of Minor Chevrier. Loving mother of Kevin (Ann). Cherished Nanny of Camryn. Dear sister of Don Stanley (Beverley), Evelyn (Merle Lance). Treasured Aunt of Betty Lou (Robert Trudeau). Fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews and friends. Friends may call at W.J. Hayes & Sons Funeral Home, 1040 Clarendon St., Quyon, Quebec on Friday, December 3, 2010 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral Saturday to St. Mary's Church, Quyon for Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment St. Mary's Cemetery. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.

Note the Quyon Ferry is closed for the season.