2012 Legend of Fastball Honourees

June 2, 2012

Kitchener, ON

Legends Honours Five More “Yesterdays Heroes “


The Legends of Fastball Classic is pleased to announce five more members will be added to the ‘ Legends of the Game’ honour role for 2012.  This years class will include Keith Wagler, Ron ‘ Hergy ‘ Hergott, Jim Brown, Harry Bartley and Rick McCaw. These five will join 27 other fastball legends that have performed with distinction and ferocity, thrilling fans and teammates for decades with their individual skills on the diamond.


Keith Wagler, the pride of Punkeydoodles Corners, was a dominant pitcher in the 1970’s and 80’s who toed the rubber for great teams in Kitchener, Woodstock and Norwich . His rise ball was as devastating as anyone in the game and he was a menace to opposing batters in the toughest leagues in Ontario. In 1978 alone he sported a meager 0.750 ERA for the entire season. ‘Wags’ pitched in an era when there were 3 great leagues in Ontario; the Ontario Fastball League, Inter City Fastball League and the Memorial Fastball League, was a dominant performer against teams in all three. When he retired he continued to give back to the game, coaching, instructing and fund raising to build the softball programs in nearby Tavistock.


Ron ‘Hergy’ Hergott was a two sport phenom throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. He played OHA major junior hockey with the Niagara Falls Flyers, spent years in the minor pros then won two Allen Cup championships playing Sr. A with the original Galt Hornets. On the diamond he could play all 9 positions, hit for power and was a tremendous leader and teammate. He played on numerous local teams but enjoyed great success with the legendary Waterloo Chym’rs and the Kitchener Evergreens. He was a colourful performer who cited teamwork about his own success. He always said the teammates were the greatest reason he played the game.


Jim Brown, was without doubt one of the games most feared performers in the 1960’s through the mid 1980’s. His broad shoulders and sinewy arms spoke nothing but power. His menacing black moustache and dark stare put fear into opposing pitchers. His ability as a catcher was second to none. ‘Browny’ was the lynchpin of every major team in the London –St. Thomas area and he was the battery mate of the greatest pitchers in the game in that era, including Dick Hames, Metro Szeryk, Steve Virag to name a few. He is one of 3 of the 2012 Legends honourees who were members of the Legendary London TV Cable and London Dukes teams of the 1970’s.


Rick McCaw was the benchmark by which all outfielders were measured in the 1960’s until the late 1980’s. Before there was a Brian Paton, before there was a Ryan Wolfe, the centre field spot in Ontario was the domain of Rick McCaw. He never went after a ball that he did not charge and he came up throwing every time. He was fleet afoot, powerful and his swing could destroy a ball with his muscular back and shoulders. His leadership ability was unquestioned and while he toiled every game in the outfield he also kept the St. Thomas fastball juggernaut alive for years as a manager and recruiter. He was a member of the London TV Cable National Championship team of 1970 and shared the diamond with many of that alumni on some great St. Thomas teams as well .


Harry ‘Hat’ Bartley was the cornerstone of every team he played on. His wide spread stance at third base challenged hitters to put one by him; they rarely did. His similar stance in the batters box rarely let a good pitch get by, and he was without doubt one of the toughest outs in the game. Harry could hit for power and average, hit to every field and was a master of breaking up games with timely and clutch delivery. He was a master of deception often goading runners into trying to stretch a hit into a shot at third base. His decoy stance would culminate with a snap tag that would totally change the complexion of many rally opportunities. Harry was always in the middle of the lineup and his skills put him on such great teams as London TV Cable, London Dukes and many St. Thomas teams.


The Legends ceremony to honour these great fastball heroes will be held at 1:30 P.M. Saturday June 23, @ Peter Hallman Ball Yard. This ceremony is just one more great event in the Legends of Fastball Classic weekend. Tickets for the games and Legends ceremony will be available at the gate.


Check the Legends web site at www.kwfastball.com to see a list of all the Legends honoured in previous  years.


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