Springwater Sports Heritage

Founding Benefactor: The McGuire Trust

Simcoe Rural Fastball League

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Submitted by Mike Patchell
January 20, 2016

In May 1971, the Georgian Bay Rural Softball League held an organizational meeting for the 1971 season. There were thirteen teams in the league. That Wednesday night, there were a lot of arguments and no decisions being made.  

I was the manager of the Elmvale Mets and thought that a smaller league would be beneficial. There would be less travel involved. That night, I mentioned my idea to Paul Leitch of Port McNicoll, Bob Widdes of Vasey, Winston Johnston of Hillsdale, George Weatherall of Wyebridge, and Ted Hall of Wyevale. They were all interested so I visited them the next day. Also, I mentioned the idea to John Brown and he thought it was a good idea.

The following Sunday, all parties met at the Elmvale Community Hall with John Brown acting as Chairman. A twenty game schedule was proposed with each team playing each other four times. The potential rivalries would be Vasey-Port McNicoll, Wyebridge-Wyevale, and Elmvale-Hillsdale.

There was total support and the Simcoe Rural Fastball League was formed. John Brown was elected President and I was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

 I resigned as manager of the Mets so I could devote time to the new league.

Every week, John or I would attend games outside Elmvale.

From the beginning, the league was successful. We had mid-season tournaments in 1971 and 1972. Also, we had league dances at the end of the season. Financially, the league was a success. It must be stated that John Brown was an excellent administrator. He had a way of convincing people what was best for the overall health of the league.

I resigned my position after the 1972 season because I was moving from Elmvale. John continued as president. 2016 will be the forty-sixth season for the league.