Cen­tral Icepak leav­ing ma­jor mid­get league

Com­mu­nity pro­duced many of New­found­land’s big­gest soft­ball names

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY BREN­DAN MCCARTHY

There will be one less team in the pro­vin­cial ma­jor mid­get league this sea­son.

There are only about 250 peo­ple liv­ing in the com­mu­nity to­day. Even it its hey­day in the 1960s, the pop­u­la­tion was just around 750.

But lit­tle places can be the sources of big ac­com­plish­ments, and of the peo­ple mak­ing those ac­com­plish­ments.

So it’s been with the Pla­cen­tia Bay ham­let of Fox Har­bour, par­tic­u­larly in the sport of fast­pitch soft­ball.

“Peo­ple have al­ways as­so­ci­ated Outer Cove with row­ing and St. Lawrence with soc­cer and they had that feel­ing about Fox Har­bour when it came to soft­ball,” said Kevin Fo­ley. “From my per­spec­tive, I al­ways felt that feel­ing should be rec­og­nized.”

Fo­ley, a Fox Har­bour na­tive, is a re­tired ed­u­ca­tor and for­mer pres­i­dent of the New­found­land and Labrador Teach­ers Associatio­n. He has made things hap­pen, and when it came to shining light on Fox Har­bour’s soft­ball his­tory, he was de­ter­mined that this should hap­pen, too,

“To be hon­est, it was some­thing that was on my mind for

sev­eral years”, he said, “but it was a mat­ter of fig­ur­ing out the best way to do it, and even­tu­ally I hit upon a wall of fame.”

And from that idea has come some­thing tan­gi­ble: the Fox Har­bour Soft­ball Wall of Fame , lo­cated in­side the com­mu­nity cen­tre.

The hon­orees are 14 peo­ple from Fox Har­bour who have al­ready been elected to the St.

John’s and/or New­found­land and Labrador Soft­ball Halls of Fame. In the case of the late Mag Davis, who is one of the 14, she is a mem­ber of not only the St. John’s and pro­vin­cial soft­ball halls, but also of the Soft­ball Canada Hall of Fame.

The oth­ers en­shrined on the Fox Har­bour wall are Mag Davis’s four broth­ers — Bill, Dick, Jim and Mike — Derm

Flynn, Mike Kelly, Pat Kelly, Dan Fo­ley, Jim Pittman, Wish Pittman

Becky Pen­der­gast, Rose Fo­ley and the late Tom Spur­vey.

Kevin Fo­ley, who now lives in Fla­trock, but still main­tains his fam­ily home in Fox Har­bour, cred­its the Fox Har­bour town coun­cil, and the lo­cal se­nior ci­ti­zen and com­mu­nity cen­tre com­mit­tees for help mak­ing the wall a re­al­ity. How­ever, he said it wouldn’t have pos­si­ble with­out the as­sis­tance of Fox Har­bour Tom Whif­fen, “who con­trib­uted greatly to the es­tab­lish­ment of this wall, espe­cially its de­sign and con­struc­tion.”

There are some empty spa­ces on the wall.

Fo­ley has an idea who might fill the empty slots, in­clud­ing the King broth­ers, Donny and Paul, who found suc­cess both as play­ers and coaches, as well, as Frank Kelly.

“Frank Kelly drove in the win­ning run in (New­found­land’s) first na­tional cham­pi­onship. He won two na­tional cham­pi­onships and was cru­cial to those teams, but he moved to Labrador City at a young age to work. He was so good, that the league there im­me­di­ately put in a by-law say­ing he wasn’t al­lowed to pitch.

“Based on his early con­tri­bu­tions, I be­lieve there is room for him (in the pro­vin­cial soft­ball).

“And Donny King and Paul King have stood the test of time.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Fox Har­bour Soft­ball Wall of Fame was un­veiled ear­lier this sum­mer at the Fox Har­bour Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. On hand were 12 of the 14 hon­orees, in­clud­ing (left to right), front row: Jim Davis, Derm Flynn, Jim Pittman, Becky (Mur­ray) Pen­der­gast, Pat Kelly, Rose (Fo­ley) Kelly, and Wish Pittman; back row: Mike Davis, Dick Davis, Dan Fo­ley, Mike Kelly and Bill Davis. The late Mag Davis and Tom Spur­vey are the oth­ers whose names are all the wall.

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