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.

Follow fitzroyfastball on Twitter

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Mr. Softball" from Verona

This article appeared in the Kingston Whig about Roger Bauder from Verona. He clearly had a big influence on softball players in that area, including Steve Price. Thanks to Blair Setford for the tip on the article.

Banners honour softball leader
By Doug Graham/The Whig-Standard

Banners from Ontario Amateur Softball Association championship years on display at the Verona Lions Club on Monday paid tribute to the man regarded as Mr. Softball in the village.

He was Roger Bauder, the manager and architect behind more than two decades of very successful Verona Merchants softball clubs.

Bauder, 72, died last Thursday. The funeral service was Monday morning at the James Reid Funeral Home. Following the service, family and friends gathered at the Verona Lions Club to celebrate Bauder’s life.

“He loved the sport, he loved promoting softball. He was very, very dedicated and respected by all,” said Jim Cashman, who played on Bauder’s Merchants for 22 years.

The Merchants, an intermediate men’s team, won seven provincial titles from 1972 to 1987. Bauder did coach some teams, but primarily worked as the team manager.

“He made sure everything was up and running. He made us a much better team,” said Cashman, a pitcher and a good bat on those teams.

The Merchants after a couple of provincial wins at the Intermediate C level, stepped up to the Intermediate A bracket and won five titles in seven years.

Cashman said the pennants were all on display Monday, leading to many memories centred around Bauder.

“Lots of laughs and good memories. It was not just our team Roger was helping. He helped kids ball, too,” Cashman said.

Past OASA president Mike Goodridge said Bauder received the highest award the provincial association hands out — the Mr. Softball Award — several years ago.

“At the time, Roger was the first person east of Oshawa to win that. It was a real honour and well deserved,” Goodridge said.

“He was such a wonderful person. He affected so many lives, not only on the ball field but in every walk of life. He touched peoples’ lives in a positive way.”

As an example of that, Goodridge said Verona’s Steve Price was helped along at the elite level of the sport by Bauder. Price, a pitcher, ended up playing for Canada and winning a gold medal at the 1990 Pan-American Games.

“Steve brought his gold medal and put it in the casket. That showed the effect Roger had on his life,” Goodridge said.

An umpire, Goodridge said working championship games on a Thanksgiving weekend, with fans huddled in blankets, wasn’t such a chore — thanks to the way Bauder ran the Verona organization.

“He instilled in the fans and the players’ wives the right way to support the team,” Goodridge said.

“They didn’t say bad things about the other team. They were there to cheer in a positive manner.”

Goodridge said whenever he met with softball people recently, they often asked about Bauder.

“He was not only well known in Kingston and Verona, but all over the province,” Goodridge said.

“He was regarded as a fine softball man, but also as a finer person.”

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home