Ma­jor ac­col­date for Ward Gosse

Soft­baller named co-win­ner of most out­stand­ing player of last 25 years

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Over the past 25 years, two men have had a huge im­pact on the land­scape of soft­ball in New­found­land and Labrador.

One of those men i s C o lin Ab­bott, the other is Bay Roberts na­tive Ward Gosse.

Both men have been named cowin­ners of the most out­stand­ing player award for the last 25 years (1986-2012).

Gosse is be­ing given the award at the Soft­ball New­found­land and Labrador 50th An­niver­sary and Hall of Fame In­duc­tion Cer­e­mony be­ing held at the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Kel­li­grews, Nov. 23.

“It’s quite hum­bling,” Gosse told The Com­pass last week.

Gosse said he found out about the be­ing named the one of the most out­stand­ing play­ers a cou­ple of weeks ago by Paul Smith, the vice- pres­i­dent of Soft­ball New­found­land and Labrador and the chair­man of the SNL Hall of Fame com­mit­tee.

The 44-year-old said at the time it was a “lit­tle over­whelm­ing.”

“It ranks up there, I’ ll tell you that. It would have to be one of the top things that I’ve done in sports,” said Gosse.

There are a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent ways to look at the recog­ni­tion.

“The fact that I’m still play­ing and still hav­ing fun, so I haven’t re­ally looked back over my ca­reer as such,” he said. “I guess, get­ting an award while you’re still play­ing, it may sink in down the road when I’m a lit­tle bit older and not play­ing.”

It’s all in the stats

Gosse has been play­ing soft­ball, for what he fig­ures, is some 30 years.

“I started when I was six or seven,” he said.

In that time, Gosse has put to­gether a sto­ried ca­reer. It started in 1986 when he helped lead Bay Roberts to the pro­vin­cial midget cham­pi­onship.

Gosse would go on to three suc­cess­ful years in the St. John’s Ju­nior Soft­ball League where he won two most valu­able player awards, a bat­ting ti­tle and a home run ti­tle as a hit­ter to go along with a strike­outs ti­tle as a pitcher.

Dur­ing those three years, Gosse would be named to two all-league teams and rep­re­sent the prov­ince at the ju­nior na­tional cham­pi­onships as a mem­ber of the CBC Ju­nior Trav­ellers.

Gosse’s dom­i­nance would continue as he moved into the se­nior ranks. In 25 years in the league, he has cap­tured 11 league cham­pi­onships, a rookie- of- the- year award (1988), seven reg­u­lar sea­son MVP awards , 1 0 p lay­off MVP awards and triple crowns in both pitch­ing and bat­ting. In 449 ca­reers games, he has a ca­reer .323 bat­ting av­er­age , rack­ing up 301 runs scored, 100 home runs, and 355 runs bat­ted in (RBI). Gosse is the league record holder in home runs and RBIs.

In 176 ca­reer play­off games, Gosse has amassed a .331 bat­ting av­er­age, with 29 home runs, 107 runs scored, 164 hits and 94 RBIs. He leads a num­ber of offensive play­off cat­e­gories.

On the mound, Gosse has 169 wins and 88 losses in 321 games pitched. He has gar­nered 2,358 strike­outs, 32 shutouts and a ca­reer earned run av­er­age of 2.126.

His record is just as strong in the playoffs, where he has 78 wins and 36 losses in 139 play­off games.

He has a pro­vin­cial gold medal at the na­tional level to go along with a gold medal at the In­ter­na­tional Soft­ball Congress cham­pi­onship with the Parr y I s land Hawks in 2012. In that tour­na­ment, he was named the MVP and the most out­stand­ing pitcher.

“He has been put on a pedestal with Colin Ab­bott ,” said Paul Smith. “(Gosse) has had a re­mark­able ca­reer.”

Smith said if any­one had ques­tions about Gosse’s se­lec­tion as one of the two top soft­ball play­ers this prov­ince has pro­duced over the last quar­ter cen­tury, there is an easy an­swer.

“You just need to look at his stats,” he said. “And, he’s still play­ing and play­ing at a high level.”

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Transcon­ti­nen­tal Me­dia file photo

Bay Roberts na­tive Ward Gosse has been named one of the top-two soft­ball play­ers in New­found­land and Labrador of the last 25 years by Soft­ball New­found­land and Labrador.

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