Legends Recognized at Woodstock Tourney 2005
 This great tournament was held June 3-5 in Woodstock Ontario.

One of the unique features of this event was the honouring of local and international personnel who have truly been legends of the game. Those being recognized this year included former Gator and National team head coach, Terry Baytor ; legendary sports scribe Bruce Huff ; battery mates over a number of seasons Bill Fidlin and Chuck Hendricks ; local builder of the game and coach, Joe Todd ; and Softball Canada Hall of Famer as a member of  Doc's Blues ladies team, Marg Skillings.

John Thompson of Waterloo, Ontario, compiled these very interesting biographies of the 2005 Legends:

LEGENDS RECOGNIZED AT WOODSTOCK TOURNEY
By John Thompson, Waterloo

Six individuals who contributed to the allure and growth of softball were recognized for their career achievements at the 2 nd annual Woodstock Legends Tournament on Saturday June 4 th . Peers and contemporaries displayed true affection and respect for these softball icons, all of whom were in attendance to be publicly acknowledged for their positive impact on the sport. 


BILL FIDLIN
“Whip on the Mound”
Born – February 01, 1945
Hometown – Norwich, ON
With a relatively later start in softball at age 17 with the Norwich Combines, including a 1967 championship season, within  a decade Bill “Whip” Fidlin was making his mark with senior clubs in nearby Woodstock. During four summers in the prestigious Ontario Fastball League, in any given week, Bill was going toe-to-toe with fabled moundsmen Dick Hames (London),Pete Landers (Oshawa), Bob Domik (Richmond Hill) and Dick Balint (St.Catharines), utilizing a deceptive change-up with a hard-breaking rise ball.

A memorable weekend was the Woodstock Warriors winning their own 1975 tournament, with Bill prevailing over Bonnie Jones and his Detroit Northdruft Tool squad uin the championship game. In 1976, Bill returned to Norwich in the Memorial Fastball League, and pitched all 22 innings in an Intermediate marathon defeating Barrie 3-2, en route to an OASA championship. Equally adept at the plate, Bill won a batting title while playing for hometown Norwich in the competitive Memorial Fastball League. Bill returned to Norwich to finish out his competitive career  in the late 80's at age 42.
Bill is employed at Cami Automotive, and he and wife Kathy and daughter Chantelle and son-in-law Kevin enjoy the grandsons Quinton and
Brendon.


JOE TODD
“Joe has done it all”
Born –  December 11, 1954
Hometown – Ingersoll, ON
It all started when teacher Doug Harris at Ingersoll DCI invited Joe Todd , the basketball team manager, to devote some time in the summer months to softball. As a fifteen year old, Joe enthusiastically immersed himself with the Ingersoll Climate Control Juniors as a scorekeeper, ending the season as finalists in Kirkland Lake. Within a few years, Joe advanced to become the team manager, with the club winning back-to-back OASA Junior titles in 1974-75.

In the early 80's, the club advanced to Intermediate competition, and Joe became Coach of the MacNabs squad. A decade later he helped organize the Ingersoll Centennials who won the OASA Intermediate C title in 1994. The following year, Joe retired from team responsibilities and has immersed himself as a veteran scorekeeper and accomplished announcer and been a volunteer in demand at various local, provincial, national and international championships. The last three summers he has become a valued fixture at the popular CasinoRama tournament in Orillia, and since 2003  has served as a Game controller for the   ISC II tournaments. As well, Joe has provided colour commentary for Internet broadcast  coverage from Kimberly, WI and Fargo, ND and will be involved in Chippewa Falls, WI for the 2005 event.

Joe resides in Ingersoll, working as an inside sales rep for Holland Equipment in Norwich.


“CHUCK” HENDRICKS
“Crutches to Catcher”
Born – July 1, 1957
Hometown – Tillsonburg, ON
With a crippling leg disease restricting him to crutches for his formidable years, an athletic future seemed unlikely for Charlie Hendricks in his hometown of Union, Ontario. However, at age 14, the crutches were discarded and Chuck focused on becoming a ball player. Following but two years in midget competition,  Chuck advanced as a 15-year old rookie,  with Port Stanley  in the Memorial Fastball League, and later donning the mask as a catcher for teams in Chatham, Windsor, Norwich and Woodstock (a pair of OASA Sr. “B” Championships with the Tornadoes). Additional summers were spent with Dorchester, Sarnia, Burlington and Midland, MI. In 1990, he was “picked up” by Owen Sound Canadian Tiremen, and the following year Chuck caught 117 games, mostly tracking fireball lefty Brad Underwood's hard-breaking tosses,  in a march to the ISC Championship game. On the final day, Undy and Chuck were a tandem for 32 inning (including a memorable 1-0 22 inning marathon semi-final win) prior to losing to host Penn Corp in Sioux City, IA.

Chuck retired in 1992, but was lured by Jack Fireman to join Canada's team of destiny, the Toronto Gators, receiving for Outstanding Pitcher Darren Zack and winning the ISC crown in 1995.  Chuck retired again in 1997-98, but returned as a 42-year-old with the Oshawa Gators.

Chuck loves the game, has served as a mentor for other catchers, continues to promote  softball, and is involved with the Skills Clinic as part of the Legends weekend. Chuck and his wife Pat reside in Tillsonburg and they have two daughters Melissa 23, and Nadine 22.


MARG SKILLINGS
“Doc's Blues Girl”
Hometown – Woodstock, ON
A timid 7-year-old second baseman catching a fly-ball in Woodstock's Victoria Park was the dawn of a career that would take Marg Skillings to the International Fastball stage.
In the early years, Marg patrolled the outfield when not pitching for City Wide Cleaners in Woodstock, a team that copped several Provincial championships. As a teenager, she was converted to the hot corner at 3 rd base, and continued to toe the rubber. At age 16, Marg advanced to senior ranks with the Simcoe Stars and St. Mary's Intermediates and eventually with the Milverton Suns in 1970, and three Provincial Championships (1977-79) and two Canadian All-Star selections in '77 and '79.

Marg's cat-like defensive skills earned her the nick-name “Brooks”, in reference to major league baseball's Brooks Robinson – the ultimate compliment. As well, she was a relief pitcher before it became fashionable, frequently ambling from 3 rd base to the pitcher's circle, exercising good control with a tantalizing change-up that got the important final out in crucial situations with runners on base.

Marg's memorable season was 1978, when she joined the legendary Doc's Blues team in British Columbia, a squad that trained year-round and represented Canada at the '78 World Championships in El Salvador. The team earned silver medals, losing 4-0  to the powerful defending gold medal USA team, and accumulated an outstanding record of 113 wins, 16 losses and 2 ties. The team was inducted into Softball BC Hall of Fame in 1990.

Marg retired the following season, and embarked on a coaching career with St. Clements Suns, winning Canadian silver in 1985. In early 90's, she coached Woodstock's Hunter Steel team, and as an avid hockey enthusiast, she played and coached women's hockey, winning a provincial championship with Woodstock Wildcats in 1996.
Margaret is most appreciative of her “Mum”, the ultimate ball fan who always quietly provided unconditional support.


BRUCE HUFF
“Scribe Superbus”
Born – June 22, 1934
Hometown – Dresden, ON
Half a century! For those who love the game, 50 years involvement is a  dream come true.
Bruce Huff originally played Midget baseball in his hometown of Dresden, but converted to fastball as a 15-year old catcher for the Dresden Intermediates -  the start of six decades as a softball player, manager and respected scribe. 
His playing days included the outfield in Chatham, many years in various leagues throughout London, (1967 as all-city 3 rd baseman), and a dozen years as player-manager for Sun Sports in the Toronto Press league.
As enduring as was his playing career, Bruce complemented bat & glove with pen & paper (eventually computer) as a sports scribe. His
foray into journalism came as a teenage for his hometown Dresden weeklies, with his initial full-time job at the Tillsonburg News. This was followed by two years at the Chatham Daily News and a quarter-century with the London Free Press, including 11 years as sports editor.

The final pit stop was the Toronto Sun for 14 years, eight as assistant sports editor, during which he covered the amazing fastball exploits of the Toronto Gators and the successful Team Canada squads. Following retirement in '94, he penned “Off the Cuff” columns for the Toronto Star and London Free Press.
Currently, Bruce is active as chair of London Sports Hall of Fame, managing director of London Oldtimers Sports Association and a committee member with the Huff'N Puff seniors' hockey league.
Personal accolades include membership in the Canadian Oldtimers Hockey Hall of Fame and the Dresden Sports Hall of Fame, and more recently London's Sportsperson of the Year (2003) and London's “Hockey Man of Distinction” (2005).
Bruce and his wife Carolyn have two sons Kelly (Markham) and Tim (London) and they enjoy their four grandchildren.


TERRY BAYTOR
“Fastball's dominant Coach”
Born – July 08, 1952
Hometown – Brampton, ON
Synonymous with the success of  Canada's national team program over the past two decades has been the solid leadership provided by Field Manager and head Coach Terry Baytor.  

Terry's national involvement commenced in 1982 as an Assistant Coach. In 1989 he was appointed Head Coach in 1989, serving for a dozen years during which he compiled an international coaching record of 79 wins and 9 losses. In eight international comopetitions, Team Canada brought home six championships, including a gold medal in the 1992 Worlds (Manila, Philippines) and silver (1996 - Midland, USA), and three Pan-Am golds (1991, ‘95 and ‘99).

An athlete of renown, Terry played senior baseball as a 16-year old and attended New York Yankees rookie invitational camp, and was awarded dual baseball/football scholarship from the university of Minnesota..

Terry debuted as a coach in 1969, (influenced by his father who organized a softball league in Toronto, and the late Roger Neilson, Terry's little league coach in minor ball), with a pee-wee softball team and coached a variety of clubs for the next twenty years. The 90's were his decade of renown, coaching the revered (1993-95) Toronto Gators (Two ISC Championships) and (1996-98) Tampa Bay Smokers (One ISC Championship), concurrently with his national team responsibilities.
Off-field, Terry is an accomplished motivational speaker, a major contributor to the National Coaching Certification program, and has participated in a leadership role in over 75 softball clinics and workshops.

Terry retired from the men's program and has assumed the Chair position of Canada's Women's National Softball Team.
He was inducted into Softball Canada Hall of Fame (1997) and City of Brampton Hall of Fame (2001).
Terry serves in a leadership role at Martingrove Collegiate in Etobicoke, and he and his wife live in Brampton, and are parents to Christopher 22, and Alexandra 16.


THANKS TO JOHN THOMPSON FOR THESE EXCELLENT BIOS!

John Thompson
284 Whitmore Drive
Waterloo,ON N2K2 N5
519-884-4050
sstj99@yahoo.com
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