Sport NL Hall of Fame Inductees (Athletes)
11 Softballers have been inducted into the Sport NL Hall of Fame in the Athlete Category.
ATHLETE CATEGORY (Chronological Order)
LEN BERESFORD (Inducted-Athlete Category-November 20, 1993)
Len Beresford, born in St. Brendan’s, Bonavista Bay played in the St. John’s Senior Men’s Softball League for 18 years from 1971 to 1988. Len played 389 season games with a batting average of .331 and 101 playoff games with a batting average of .365.
Like baseball’s Mr. October, Beresford was softball’s Mr. August. He won numerous individual titles including M.V.P., Batting champion, No. 1 in Hits, Runs Scored, Triples, Doubles and R.B.I.’s. As well as being named to All-star teams regularly and representing the province in eleven National Competitions, he always demonstrated sportsmanship on and off the field.
That combination made Len Beresford a class act. One teammate of Beresford commented that, “Len is the best hitter in the history of Newfoundland Softball and probably among the top five in the country: I’m talking about power, average and in clutch situations.” Beresford’s statistics support these accolades.
In 1974 Len was the first Newfoundlander selected to the All-Canadian team. In that same year he set a record at the Senior Nationals with three consecutive home runs in one game. Len put fear in all pitchers as he presently holds the single season batting average record of .494. In 1982 Beresford was honoured by the St. John’s Softball Association by being inducted into their Hall of Fame. Tonight we are pleased to welcome him into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
Len Beresford was the first softball player to be elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
MARG DAVIS (Inducted-Athlete Category-November 19, 1994)
A native of Fox Harbour, Placentia Bay, Marg starred in several sports including softball, field hockey, soccer, ice hockey and ball hockey. A member of 17 St. John’s League Championships and 15 Provincial Championship teams, Marg also played for 5 years with M.U.N. Varsity Field Hockey Teams and was named to the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union All-Star Team in 1985.
Marg has been the recipient of numerous individual awards including M.V.P.’s. She was a member of 34 teams which represented Newfoundland and Labrador in Canadian Women’s Play. A National Batting Champion, and selected All Star on a number of occasions, Marg played for Canada’s Silver Medal Team in the World Women’s Softball Championships in 1978 in El Salvador.
In 1987, Marg was named the Best Female Softball Player in the province for the quarter century, (1963-1987). Chosen St. John’s Female Athlete of the Year on two occasions, she is a member of the St. John’s and Provincial Softball Hall of Fame.
Marg’s accomplishments and examples encouraged young girls to become athletes, attracted expanded media attention and generally boosted female sports.
FORD METCALFE (Inducted-Athlete Category-October 18, 1997)
Born in Manuels, NF Ford Metcalfe was the first national softball superstar from Newfoundland and Labrador. And although softball was his first and greatest love, he enjoyed an all-star career in hockey at the local and provincial levels.
For a player who learned to pitch because no one else on his team could, Ford rose to the pinnacle of his sport in a career that spanned twelve years (1964-1976). A great softball pitcher who could also hit with the top batting stars of his era, Ford Metcalfe turned Conception Bay South into a serious contender for provincial honours, and played a major role in winning championships for and within the St. John’s Senior “A” men’s league.
In provincial senior “A” softball Ford was a member of five championship teams and won the most valuable player award in 1965, 1969 and 1970. He represented Newfoundland and Labrador in Atlantic championships in 1970 and 1971, and was a member of four teams to represent this province in National senior men’s championships.
Ford played in the first Canada Summer Games in Halifax in 1969 and was the first Newfoundland pitcher to defeat a team from British Columbia; a 5-3 win in which he also hit a three-run homer.
He was named St. John’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1970 and shares a record for the most strike-outs in a seven inning game in the provincial qualifying championships.
In a ten year hockey career which saw him win a junior league scoring championship in his rookie year, Ford went on to even greater heights as a member of the St. John’s Caps. Always among the top point getters, he saw a great deal of service killing penalties and on the power play. He was a vital factor for the Caps in winning three Herder Memorial trophies and three provincial senior hockey titles.
Ford Metcalfe has been inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Softball Hall of Fame, the Conception Bay South Sports Hall of Fame and the St. John’s Softball Hall of Fame.
ROSS CROCKER (Inducted-Athlete Category-October 18, 1997)
Ross Crocker, a native of Hearts Delight, Trinity Bay can legitimately claim the title of most versatile player ever to play Canadian Men’s Softball. A career of over 26 years has brought him numerous awards and honours at the national, provincial and local level.
While Ross’s many records and stats are too extensive to list here, some are of special mention. He represented our province 17 times in national competition and his all round ability was confirmed through winning MVP in 1973, Top Pitcher in 1976 and Top Batter and Allstar First Baseman in 1982. Ross is the only Newfoundlander to be named Senior National Male M.V.P. and also holds the enviable record of being the only Canadian to play at every position in national competition.
At the provincial level, Ross had a remarkable career. He competed in 20 provincial championships winning 11 times. He was MVP and Top Batter twice. A special highlight of his provincial play came when he struck out 29 batters in a 17 inning game in 1976.
At the local level, Ross excelled during his 25 years in the St. John’s Men’s A league. He played on 10 championship teams and was MVP 3 times, Play-off MVP 5 times, and top batter once. Ross currently holds league records in 9 different categories.
It was no wonder that such a fine softball career led to Ross being named Softball Newfoundland and Labrador male player of its first 25 years and to his induction to the SNL Hall of Fame in 1997. There were few arguments as well when the Evening Telegram sports department named Ross the best male softball player in the history of our province.
As a result of his softball achievements, as well as being a better than average bowler (238 avg.) and a good basketballer (he scored 86 points in one game), Ross was named Male Athlete of the Year for St. John’s on two occasions.
In summary, Ross Crocker has been a credit to his family (wife Dianne and daughter Ashley), to his friends, to his province and most of all to himself. Even in his retirement, he continues to give back to sport by conducting numerous pitching clinics for youth throughout the province. Ross exemplifies how dedication, sportsmanship, talent and attitude can be combined to produce a remarkable Newfoundland athlete.
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador is honoured to induct athlete Mr. Ross Crocker into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
ROSE FOLEY (Inducted-Athlete Category-October 31, 1998)
Rose Foley, a native of Fox Harbour, Newfoundland, had a career of unparalleled success. Her career spanned a quarter of a century and brought a commitment to excellence and strong sense of sportsmanship. She was the ultimate team player.
She represented Newfoundland and Labrador in forty-one (41) Canadian National Championships in the sports of softball, field hockey, squash, ball hockey and golf. She was selected to Canadian National All Star Teams on five (5) occasions in softball and ball hockey. She represented Newfoundland as a member of the Canada Games Softball Team in 1977 and was Provincial Female Representative at 1993 Summer Games in Kamloops, B.C. She was a member of twenty-eight (28) Provincial Championship Teams in softball, field hockey, ball hockey, basketball and soccer. She achieved numerous individual awards for her athletic prowess too during her career. Stella Green Gibson, Professor and Coach at Memorial University from 1968-1986, had this to say of Rose Foley:
“I am honoured to support the nomination of Rose Foley. As coach of the Memorial University Varsity Field Hockey Team and Newfoundland Field Hockey Team, I feel qualified to comment on Rose and her contribution as a team player. Her personality and sense of humour made her a very popular player. Her commitment to hard work never ceased. Rose had that special ability to make us all laugh, and to try harder, despite the odds. She was always the “Glue” that held the team together”.
Her outstanding level of achievement and success at such a varied array of sporting activities shall be the high water mark and measure for future generations of athletes to aspire.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame is honoured to induct athlete Rose Foley as its newest member.
COLLEEN TAPPER (Inducted-Athlete Category-November 3, 2001)
Colleen Tapper is probably the most all round female sports figure in Newfoundland history. Colleen has been successful on the provincial level, she has competed nationally in ten different sports, and she was an all star and outstanding competitor in every sport she participated in.
Colleen has represented the province fourteen different times at the Canadian Senior Women’s Softball Championships and was selected to the all-star teams on two occasions. She played in two National Junior Championships and the 1977 Canada Summer Games. Colleen was manager of the 1981 junior provincial all-star team and she guided them to a third place finish at the nationals. She also coached the 1986 junior provincial all stars and the 1994 senior provincial all stars. In provincial softball, Colleen has played on eight championship teams between the years of 1975 and 1991. At this level, she has won twice the MVP award and the provincial Batting Title.
Colleen played for ten seasons in the Newfoundland Women’s Hockey League and she was the league’s top scorer in nine of those seasons. Colleen captained her Torbay Chargers to ten straight league championships and some of her individual accomplishments include winning the MVP award seven times and representing Newfoundland at four different national tournaments.
From 1976-1982, Colleen played soccer and her team won four St. John’s City titles and four provincial championships. During this time, Colleen amassed two St. John’s MVP awards and two provincial MVP awards.
Colleen’s ball hockey career lasted from 1980-89 and she was a member of four city championship teams, two provincial champions and three provincial representatives at national competitions. One of these national entries won a silver medal in 1986 and Colleen was voted to the all star team on two occasions. In field hockey, Colleen played for Memorial University’s varsity teams for five years and provincial all-star teams that participated in national competitions between 1978 and 1982. Colleen had success on the volleyball court when she played for Newfoundland and Labrador at the 1975 Canada Winter Games. Colleen has played squash since 1982 and she has won 11 St. John’s titles, five provincial titles, played in the Atlantic Championships ten times and has represented Newfoundland at one National Championship. Colleen has also competed in two national fitness competitions.
PATTY POLYCH (Inducted-Athlete Category-November 2, 2002)
A brilliant 18-year softball pitching career that overflowed with success and achievements at the local, provincial, national and international levels of competition earned Patty Polych the distinction of being one of the very elite athletes produced within Newfoundland and Labrador.
Her induction into the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame, the Newfoundland and Labrador Softball Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Softball Hall of Fame is a clear demonstration of the great respect that this great athlete has earned. She was a valuable member of five teams that won the Canadian senior female softball championship, a member of nine teams that won provincial senior female softball championships and a member of seven teams that won senior female league championships.
At the 1980 Canadian Senior Female championships in Hull, Quebec, as a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives, she recorded the first “perfect game” in a Canadian championship. Having 21 straight outs, she included 16 strikeouts, nine consecutively at one point. She set three national records and was named MVP, top pitcher and all-star pitcher. She was 13 when she first attracted attention when she was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the 1971 Newfoundland and Labrador Championships. In 1976 she moved to St. John’s and dominated pitching in the best female league east of Ontario. She recorded nine no-hitters between 1976 and 1980 and led her team to three St. John’s titles and four provincial titles.
Her first national appearance came at the 1973 Canada Summer Games in Burnaby, B.C. and was followed by strong pitching at the 1974 national senior championships. She played in the national junior championships in 1975 and 1976 and at the 1977 Canada Summer Games in St. John’s.
She continued to star for Newfoundland and Labrador All-Star Teams in 1978, 1979 and 1980 and stood out for B.C. teams from 1981 to 1988 when shoulder problems forced her to retire from softball. During that period, playing against the best teams in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Japan, China, Australia, Taiwan and other countries, she posted 222 wins against only 35 losses. In 11 games she did not allow a base runner as she had an ERA of 0.254 after facing 5,295 batters.
Patty Polych was a world-class softball pitcher and continually demonstrated her ability during an exceptional 18-year career.
In addition to softball, she was a perennial all-star soccer player. From her backfield position she played important roles in the amazing success of the team with which she played in 1976, 1977 and 1978. She played varsity basketball at Memorial University and within the very competitive St. John’s “A” League, more than holding her own.
Patty is employed by Canada Post and resides in Burnaby, British Columbia.
PATRICK G. KELLY (Inducted-Athlete Category-April 10, 2010)
Patrick G. Kelly has been established as one of the best softball players at the local, provincial and national level from Newfoundland and Labrador. The All Star first baseman and pitcher competed for 16 years gaining numerous personal and team successes throughout.
Pat attended ten Senior National Men’s Championships representing Newfoundland and Labrador and was named All-Star first baseman in 1976. He pitched the first no hitter by team NL in a National Senior Men’s championship in 1975 and was inducted into the St. John’s Softball Hall of Fame. With his team, Pat won the 1988 Eastern Canadian Senior Men’s “B” Championship and has won ten Provincial Championships at both the junior and senior level, while also winning four MVP awards and three Batting Titles throughout.
Locally, between 1974 and 1981, Pat achieved nine individual awards including a batting crown, earned run average title and All-Star pitcher. Pat Kelly is described as a gifted athlete, with outstanding talent and ability. He supported these qualities with impressive personal confidence and an extremely powerful desire to succeed. And, succeed he did, at every level of competition in which he was involved.
Always willing to make sacrifices and equally willing to learn and improve, he ranked highly with any softball player ever developed in Newfoundland and Labrador and earned exceptional personal respect nationally.
Pat Kelly was simply a great softball player, when he was pitching or when he was hitting. His leadership qualities and determined character were other assets that were extremely beneficial to his career and to any team of which he was a member. Growing up in the exceptional softball atmosphere of Fox Harbour, Placentia Bay, he quickly developed the talent and character that would earn him a place among the athletic elite of the province.
DEBBY POWER (Inducted-Athlete Category-April 14, 2012)
Outer Cove athlete Debby Power had an outstanding athletic career in softball, ball hockey and ice hockey. Debby’s exceptional pitching and batting ability on the softball field led to many awards and accomplishments throughout her years of competition.
Debby represented Newfoundland and Labrador at thirteen national softball championships; however, the 1981 and1982 championships proved to be her most successful. Following her team’s 1981 bronze medal win at the Canadian Junior Softball Championship Debby was invited to a national team tryout camp. At the 1982 Canadian National Softball Championship she won the batting title with a .600 batting average, was voted MVP and set a record for most runs batted in during one game with eleven.
Throughout her athletic career Debby was a member of nine championship teams, she won 69 individual awards from local to national competition including six batting titles and thirteen MVP awards, was named provincial softball female player of the year three times, won the 1982 St. John’s Female Athlete of the Year (Tom Dynamite Dunne Memorial Award), was selected as the provincial Elizabeth Swan Senior Female Athlete of the Year in 1982, and in 2002 she was inducted into the Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame. Over the course of Debby’s ball hockey career from 1981 to 1997 she won one silver and two bronze medals in national championship play.
At the provincial level, Debby led her teams to fourteen championships and was voted top defensive player eleven times. Locally she won ten championships, was voted MVP three times and Top Defensive Player twelve times. In the Newfoundland Women’s (Ice) Hockey League, Debby won the scoring title once and was assistant captain for Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the 1984 and the 1985 Canadian championships. In both of these competitions she was one of the top three performers on her team. In recognition of her hockey achievements Debby was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.
Throughout her athletic career Debby Power has always demonstrated great sportsmanship, a dedicated willingness to work for all the sports with which she has been involved and her athletic skill, hard work and ability have gained her success in her athletic endeavours.
COLIN ABBOTT (Inducted-Athlete Category-April 12, 2014)
Colin Abbott may very well go down in history as Newfoundland and Labrador’s most accomplished Softball player. Colin is recognized in the Softball community as one of the most feared hitters in the game and his 28-year Softball career led him to many accomplishments on the field from local to international play.
From 1989 − 2009, Colin represented Canada 15 times, winning 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal at the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championships and Pan Am Championships.
From 1992 − 2009 he participated in 18 International Softball Congress (ISC) Championships, winning 3 gold and 3 silver medals.
From 1994 − 2009 he competed in numerous American Softball Association (ASA) Championships winning 2 gold and 2 silver medals.
Representing Newfoundland and Labrador provincially, Colin competed 11 times at the Senior Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships, capturing 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. He also won 3 gold medals representing three other provinces at the Canadian Fastpitch Nationals.
During his junior years he won 2 gold medals at the Junior Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships, 1 gold medal at the Midget Boys Canadian Fastpitch Championship and the Eastern Canadian Softball Championships. Colin was also a member of the provincial Softball team that represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the 1989 Canada Summer Games.
Locally, Colin had seventeen years of competition in the St. John’s Senior Men’s Softball League from 1985 − 2012 and in 2012 was co-winner of Softball Newfoundland and Labrador’s Most Outstanding Player Award.
Overall, Abbott has achieved 16 International Championship and 13 National Championship medals. In international play he captured 3 MVP Awards, 1 Top Batter award, and was an All-World Selection as an outfielder 15 times. Nationally, he received 2 Top Batter awards and 6 All−Tournament Team Selections as an outfielder and 2 MVP awards.
He has been a great ambassador for the game through his leadership, success and competition diversity and has paved the way for future Softball players in this province. Colin Abbott’s statistics, team and individual success in the sport of Softball speak to his induction into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
BILL DAVIS (Inducted-Athlete Category-April 11, 2015)
Fox Harbour, Placentia Bay native Bill Davis ranks within the finest Canadian softball players with a 22-year career that overflowed with personal and team success.
For seventeen seasons, from 1977 – 1995, Davis played in the St. John’s Senior Softball League where he claimed 47 individual awards including six MVP selections, seven all star selections, one batting title, three slugging titles, one most runs scored, three most doubles, four most home runs, one most RBI’s, seven pitching titles, four most strikeouts, three top ERA and seven shutout titles, in addition to holding six league records.
He was a member of three teams that represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the National Junior Championships where he was selected as an All Star in 1978.
His Eastern Canadian career measured much success as a member of the gold medal team in 1986 where he was selected MVP and top pitcher.
He won a bronze and silver medal between 1989 and 1995 at the National Senior Championships, where he tallied 81 games played, 35 hits, 3 home runs, 22 RBI’s, while winning 16 pitched games, with one shut out, 168 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA.
He was also MVP of the 1992 Fredericton Classic, a member of Team Atlantic at the 1992 International Softball Congress (ISC) Championships in Salt Lake City and top pitcher at the 1994 ISC qualifier.
Provincially, he was a member of eight Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Men’s Championship Teams, winning four MVP’s, while in his junior year claimed the provincial title of the Newfoundland and Labrador Junior Male Championships, won the junior batting title, provincial Junior MVP, provincial bantam MVP and batting title.
Nationally, Davis was a member of 14 teams that represented Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championships.
As a pitcher, Bill Davis owned the mound with an impressive 342 games pitched, 193 games won, a regular season 1.66 earned run average and a playoff 2.51 earned run average while posting 2208 strikeouts and one no hitter.
Davis is a member of the Softball Newfoundland Labrador Hall of Fame and was a player known for his great personal talent, skill and amazing desire to win.