SportNL Hall of Fame Inductees (Builders)
7 Softballers have been inducted into the SportNL Hall of Fame in the Builder Category.
BUILDER CATEGORY (Chronological Order)
DONALD JOHNSON (Inducted-Builder Category-November 6, 1982)
Don Johnson’s main contribution to sport in Newfoundland has been on the hockey scene but he has also played major roles in softball, sailing, youth bowling and the Newfoundland and Labrador Amateur Sports Federation since he came here from Halifax in 1959. A fine defenceman in his hockey playing days, Johnson moved to the administration aspect of hockey in 1963. He served as president of the St. John’s league, was provincial hockey president starting in 1965 and finally was elected president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in 1975. His contribution to hockey has stretched from the local league all the way to the international scene at the World Hockey Championships. Johnson’s contribution to softball on the local and provincial level was recognized by an honorary life membership in Softball Newfoundland. He is past commodore of the Terra Nova Yacht Club and was Newfoundland’s representative on the board of governors of the National Youth Bowling Council of Canada. He also served as the first treasurer of the Newfoundland Amateur Sports Federation when that body was founded in 1971.
DENIS (DEE) MURPHY (Inducted-Builder Category-November 2, 1985)
Denis (Dee) Murphy was born and resides in St. John’s. He was the initial president of softball in the province, serving as the top man provincially for 13 years. During that time he was responsible for the establishment of many softball leagues and has been made an honorary life member of many softball organizations including Softball Newfoundland. He is a member of the Newfoundland Softball Hall of Fame. At the national level, he was elected a chartered vice-president of Softball Canada during its founding meeting in 1965 and served as a national vice-president for seven years. He is one of only five people who have been voted honorary life membership in the national softball organization, having twice represented Canada at international meetings, been national chairman for the softball competition at the 1977 Canada Summer Games as well as conducting three other national championships. He coached Newfoundland teams in seven national championships, and has won numerous local and provincial titles.
In addition to his softball service, Murphy has been an executive member of the local, provincial and/or national organizations for baseball, bowling, soccer, minor and intermediate hockey, table tennis, darts and broomball. He has been chairman of the St. John’s Athlete of the Year Committee for 23 years, was Newfoundland’s representative on the National Advisory Council for Fitness and Amateur Sport for three years, chairman for the sports activity of the Irish Christian Brothers Centennial celebrations and 1975 provincial sports executive of the year.
He is married to the former Bette Tricco and they have six children.
TERRY TRAINOR (Inducted-Builder Category-November 4, 1988)
Terry Trainor was born in St. John’s in 1923 and owns a sports career that spans more than 50 years. It includes at least eight different sports as a builder and an athlete. He recently retired from the Provincial Government.
His hockey career began as a player for St. Bon’s with seven Herder Memorial Trophy Provincial Titles to his credit. He coached and refereed for 14 years and served as St. John’s League president for five years. He served as general manager of the St. John’s Team in provincial senior play from 1972 to ’87, managed Newfoundland Teams at Canada Games in ’71 and ’75, served two years as provincial junior hockey vice-president and filled numerous other hockey positions.
A member of the Provincial and St. John’s Softball Hall of Fame, he was president for ten years and treasurer for four years of the St. John’s Men’s League, served as provincial secretary, was named Provincial Softball Executive of the Year for ’81 and acted as general manager for six Newfoundland Teams in Canadian Championships.
He was Chairman of the St. John’s Junior baseball league for six years, served as provincial secretary-treasurer, umpired and was inducted into the St. John’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.
He was awarded the Pitcher Plant Award by the Provincial Parks and Recreation Association in 1981 for his service to Municipal Recreation. He also worked on various St. John’s Memorial Stadium Committees, was honored by the Boy Scouts, was a member of three cup winning soccer teams in the 1940′s, bowled, played basketball, competed in track and field and was deeply involved in a wide range of sports and community organizations.
ALEXANDER (DUEY) FITZGERALD (Inducted-Builder-November 20, 1993)
Duey Fitzgerald has had an outstanding career in three sports, Baseball, Softball and Bowling, and has been honoured by all. Duey first coached the Holy Cross Senior Baseball squad in 1957 and from there went on to coach St. John’s in the Provincial Baseball Championships in 1958, 1959, 1963 and 1969. He also coached softball during this time and in 1971-72 served as the Provincial Coach for Softball Newfoundland. Duey began umpiring baseball in 1964 and continued to do so until 1968 when he devoted his time towards softball. He was the founder of the St. John’s Metro Softball Umpire’s Association in 1971 and served as the Provincial Softball Umpire-in-Chief from 1969 to 1975. Duey took part in his first national event as an umpire in 1966 for the Baseball National Junior Men’s Championship and he performed similar duties for softball in 1973, 1977 and 1978. Duey retired from umpiring in 1988 but continues to serve softball by calling the game behind a microphone as a commentator for Cable Nine in St. John’s.
Duey was inducted into the St. John’s Softball Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Newfoundland Softball Hall of Fame in 1985. Baseball honoured Duey by electing him into the St. John’s Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Newfoundland Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1986 Duey was elected into the Newfoundland Bowling Hall of Fame. On the National scene Duey was elected to the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame in 1991. Tonight Duey Fitzgerald is being inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. It is his seventh Hall of Fame – a milestone no other Newfoundlander has achieved.
VINCE WITHERS (Inducted-Builder Category-October 28, 1995)
Vince Withers, Carbonear native has been instrumental over the years in the development of Softball, Curling, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. Vince was co-founder of Softball Newfoundland and Labrador, a member of the organizing committees that founded the St. John’s Senior A Softball League and St. John’s Metro Umpires Association and in 1972, he served as President of the local Senior Men’s League. He was President of Umpires for 10 years. Vince was appointed the first Softball Canada Commissioner for Newfoundland, and in 1972, he was the first Newfoundland umpire to officiate at a National Championship. He has acted as General Chairman for five National Softball Championships: 1979 Senior Men’s, 1982 Senior Ladies, 1986 Junior Men’s, 1988 Senior Ladies and 1989 Senior Men’s. Vince was also General Chairman for the 1994 World Women’s Championships in St. John’s, a pre-Olympic qualifier for the 1996 Olympics. He was instrumental in the construction of the Caribou Softball Complex to host the World event.
Vince was inducted in Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame in 1972 and Softball Canada Hall of Fame in 1990 in the Builder category. Over the ten year period from 1980-1989, Vince held many Executive positions with the St. John’s Curling Club. He was President in 1985 and made major contributions to the development of curling.
Vince served as Chairman of the Provincial Sports Hall of Fame Board of Governors from 1988 – 1992 and was Chairman of the Selection Committee in 1986.
FRED JACKSON (Inducted-Builder Category-October 22, 2005)
The contribution of countless hours within the sporting population shows great honour, dignity, and leadership. Fred Jackson has made a significant contribution to the sport of softball as an athlete, coach, administrator and volunteer at the local, provincial and national levels.
In 1991, the year he retired from the game of softball because of a career move and starting a family, Fred became the first Newfoundlander to win Softball Canada’s Coach of the Year Award. At the national level, he has coached nine national championships and has won five medals along with a fourth place finish at the 1989 Canada Summer Games. In the nine national championships, Fred posted an outstanding 60 wins and 23 losses.
Provincially, he has coached teams to 21 provincial championships and has won a championship in every minor and junior softball category. At the age of 14 he started a minor softball program with just three teams. This program eventually grew to comprise over 500 players and became known as the Higher Levels Minor Softball Association and included the construction of three softball fields.
Throughout his coaching career Fred has coached some of the best softball players to ever come out of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has chaired organizing committees for ten provincial championships as well as an Eastern Canadian Championship.
In 1986, he became the youngest person to be inducted into the St. John’s Softball Hall of Fame. He has many more accolades to his credit including Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Minor Executive of the Year along with an induction into the Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame. He has also made a tremendous contribution to the promotion of sport in the province as a volunteer, sports reporter and sports editor. Fred currently resides in Sydney with his wife Beatrice and their five daughters.
WILLIAM J. BARRON (Inducted-Builder Category-April 10, 2010)
Bill Barron has been involved with Softball in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador since 1957. While he has excelled as a player in the St. John’s Senior Softball League for ten years, he was an umpire for twelve, he coached for six, was an executive member of Softball Newfoundland and Labrador for eleven and is presently an executive official of the St. John’s Senior Softball League, where he has served for the past forty five years.
Bill Barron was named Softball Newfoundland and Labrador Executive of the Year in 1967 and again in 1998, following an outstanding coaching career, leading the St. John’s Senior Men’s team to a provincial championship in 1967 and managing the Newfoundland Senior Men’s Team at the National Championships in 1972. Bill is known by all in the Softball community as an outstanding organizer for National and Provincial tournaments at both the junior and senior levels and was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Softball Hall of Fame in 1981.
Among all of Bill’s accomplishments, softball enthusiasts believe it is because of his dedication and value for the game, that fast pitch softball exists in Newfoundland to date. He currently operates the only two fast pitch softball leagues in this province, which are the St. John’s Senior and Intermediate leagues.
Three years ago, Bill Barron started the St. John’s Intermediate Softball league to remedy the issue of minor age players not having the opportunity to play at the junior age group, which was compromising the talent and passion of these younger players. Not only has Bill been a devoted player, coach, umpire, organizer and executive, he has also been a fan, and created an archive of fast pitch softball in Newfoundland and Labrador from past to present years. This archive consists of individual stats and newspaper clippings from each year of softball in this Province and provided the St. John’s Senior League with all yearly statistics, batting and pitching averages for the fiftieth year celebration ceremony.
For his simple passion and love for the game, Bill Barron is unselfishly and undoubtedly known to Softball enthusiasts as “Mr. Softball”.