Recognized at Woodstock Tourney 2006-2007
John Thompson of Waterloo, Ontario, compiled these very interesting biographies of the 2006-2007 Legends:
Born – August 9, 1960
Impact sports competitors are often referred to simply by their first names – baseball’s Babe, basketball‘s Michael, golf’s Tiger- the ultimate acknowledgement of respect.
In fastball – it’s Darren.
It was foreboding that Darren won his first ISC All-World recognition in 1992 as a member of the Vancouver Magicians, the upstart team that finished 4th in Salt Lake City. If the Babe is remembered as the “Sultan of Swat”, then surely Darren will be the “Magician of the Mound” in the memories of fastball purists.
Space limits describing Darren’s
pitching exploits, but suffice it to say that his performance in
Darren has a lengthy list of international experience with many gold medals at the Pan Am and ISF Championships
Darren is a soft-spoken gentle man, and a gentleman, regarded as a true sportsmen, possessing all the redeeming values associated with that descriptor. He’s especially proud of his Aboriginal roots and has been recognized publicly on many occasions for his role modeling for Aboriginal people.
(A little known fact – especially for Canadian hockey fans – Darren played three games of Major Junior Hockey with the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in 1979-80).
Born – September 22, 1948
A mainstay of various Memorial League teams, Steve Virag was always the nucleus of the pitching staff. As well, he was an offensive threat in the batting order
Steve got his start in softball
in Fingal as a 9-year old under coach Jack Barrett, and played for Shedden Jrs. in the mid-60’s – a
team that had a 58-0 record before losing 2-1 and 1-0 to Elginburg
in OASA. Steve advanced to senior ranks with Port Stanley,
Possessing moxie to complement
his talent, Steve’s endurance enabled him to pitch as many as five games in a
day. In 1980, he was named top pitcher in 4 tournaments and twice selected to
One memory that Steve shared was when Ray Tilley took him deep four times… in a single game… remembered more fondly now than at the time… stating that he “at least I got touched up by a ‘great batter’”.
Steve retired in 2004 as
Detective Sergeant (Fraud) from London Police Services (he played on four
“Long Ball Consistency”
Born – November 12, 1947
Baseball provided the early opportunity for Dick Parker, playing for hometown Ingersoll in the 1960’s, and he contributed to a couple of local minor hardball championships. However, when baseball folded in the mid-60’s, Dick turned to fastball at age 17, and soon became an impact player.
Once he found his softball
stroke, the troika of strength, confidence and an imposing stance in the
batter’s box was intimidating to opposing pitchers. With switch-hitting skills
acquired in his baseball career, a seldom-used trait in fastball circles, Dick
hit for impressive average as a long-ball threat throughout his career that
started in Ingersoll, and blossomed in
In 1972, in the illustrious and highly-competitive Ontario Fastball League, Dick’s defensive acumen was impressive, but paled in comparison to his batting skill. In his inaugural OFL season, while patrolling the outfield, he batted .345 and was named a league All-Star while playing for the Woodstock Warriors.
His most memorable team-mates included Ray Tilley, lanky short-stop Bob McKinnon and Randy Hewitt, an agile 2nd baseman who provided vast ground-ball back-up for the converted 1st baseman.
A memorable moment for Dick occurred during a match-up encounter with ace hurler Dick Hames of London Cable TV. With Jim Brown catching and a 2-2 count, an offering from Hames appeared to be thrown at Dick’s head. While Dick bailed for safety, Hames’ screwball action nipped a corner of the plate for a called 3rd strike – a story that all three players enjoy re-telling.
Dick resides in Ingersoll with wife Pegi, and children Tracy and Rick, with spouse Angela, and grandchildren Jordan, age 10 and Daniel, 7. Dick takes special interest in the early exploits of Jordan and Daniel who are embarking on their own baseball careers..
Born – November 24, 1954
Larry Lynch oozes infectious enthusiasm. With a fastball career spanning almost 1/3 of a century, Larry has donned fielder’s cap, batter’s helmet, coach’s chapeau, manager’s mantilla, and administrator’s crown. In fact Larry’s lids are somewhat indistinguishable as he has assumed a variety or concurrent roles during his memorable and on-going career.
As a player with Port Stanley in
the Memorial Fastball League, a career move in 1977 to
Larry’s love-affair with the game
has taken him to many small-city/small-town venues
His passion is beyond the playing
field, as he has tirelessly promoted the game. Notwithstanding his on-field
stats, his devotion to senior men’s fastball has positively impacted the
survival of the game in K-W, the attraction of the ISC tourneys to
DAN “DOC” WERBY
Consistent and strong defense and
timely offence oft describe a championship team. These basic components also
belong to thoroughbred fastball outfielder, Dan “Doc” Werby, a natural fleet-of-foot
athlete who patrolled centre field with ease, exhibiting a style that embodied
grace, for his hometown
His skills were but one part of his game, as his poise and leadership resulted in his being named team captain on every team for whom he donned a uniform for three decades. In the highly competitive Ontario Fastball League he twice finished second in the batting parade, and was a member of the top-ten batters in five seasons, which were rewarded with OFL All-Star selections.
His fastball prowess was shared
with many great
Among his many highlight memories, “Doc”
fondly recalls the familial ties of suiting up and sharing the fastball diamond with his three brothers, all in the same hometown lineup.
“Career Softball Lady”
Traditionally, softball is not a career opportunity, much less an endeavor. However, Lori Sippell, the pride of South Western Ontario makes for the exception.
Lori has devoted more than half
her life to fastball in mid-west
Back home, Lori was a 13-year
In 2005, Lori was selected for 2006 induction into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame.
Lori maintains international
competition, using her skills acquired as an assistant coach in the
John Thompson, Diamond Dirt,