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Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame announces inductees

A group of five athletes, two builders, one coach and three teams. will be inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame on May 4 at the 12th annual induction banquet at the Canad Inns Polo Park. Players to be inducted include the Newsham sisters, Heather (Newsham) Ruby and Sandy (Newsham) Maskiw along with Donna Manning and and posthumous inductions Dr. C. (Sheppy) Hershfield and Harold (Googs) Hindle. The builders inductees are Ernie Delorme and Garry Johnston along with coach Met Simenik (posthumous). The teams list includes 1930-1935 Native Sons (also known as The Canucks and formerly The Nifties), the 1972–1977 Clanwilliam Greys and the 1984–1987 Manitoba Men’s Masters Team.

For tickets to the dinner, which are $60 each, contact Les Newman at 204-235-1674.

Softball Manitoba provided the following bios of the inductees:

Athletes

*Dr C. Hershfield: Dr. C. (Sheppy) Hershfield was a unique softball pitching talent, 1914-1932. He began to pitch at Strathcona School where he and catcher, Charlie Krupp, led the school to 6 consecutive school division championships. During 1922-23, these two played exhibition games in Winnipeg and Manitoba, but when a city league was established in 1924, a series of championships followed. Charlie Krupp notes that "Sheppy had pin-point accuracy with all his pitches – the curve that moved both ways, drops, change of speed". He retired in 1932 after pitching YMHA to a city championship in the 7th game before a crowd of 8000. These fans gave him a standing ovation as he walked off the field one last time. A talent to remember.

*Harold (Googs) Hindle: Harold’s rare softball talents energized crowds and communities. The seven years from 1928 to 1935, Harold or "Googs" as he was fondly known, emerged as the ace pitcher with the Elites. And later with the Uneeda’s of the Winnipeg Senior Men’s Diamond Ball League. On July 17, 1929, he allowed 3 hits in 11 innings to defeat the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA); on June 8, 1932 he struck out 13 in 7 innings, and 10 days later, struck out 13. In 1935, he pitched a no-hitter and a I hitter. He pitched in 4 all-star games. An exciting pitching ace.

Heather Ruby (Newsham): As right handed pitcher and switch hitter, Heather was a dominant softball player provincially, nationally and internationally. She began ball in Roblin Park CC at age seven in 1984. She helped Roblin Park Pee Wees win Silver at the Westerns in 1992, Silver at the Bantam Westerns in 1993, Gold at the Midget Westerns in 1994. When she retired from Softball in 2002, she had won eight national batting championships, named All-Star Pitcher at the 1999 Nationals and declared Home Run Champion at 2001 Canada Cup. During these years, she repeatedly won provincial awards and honors. A gifted, determined, courageous athlete.

Sandy Maskiw (Newsham): Sandy was uniquely talented and highly skilled athlete. In fastball, she was an elite amongst elites. From pitching a no hitter against New Zealand in the 1991 Junior World Championships to the Canadian Senior A championship’s MVP in 1999, top pitcher in 1995, ’96, ’97, top batter and MVP in 1998, no-hitter against Netherland Antilles and 1-0 finals loss against the USA at the 1999 Pan Am Games to her many provincial, national and international wins and all-star selections, Sandy was simply one of the best of the best.

Donna Manning: Donna learned to play softball at Laura Secord School in the 1930s. By 1946, she wore jersey # 13 with The Electrics of the Winnipeg Senior Women’s Softball League. She was a dominating pitcher, league-leading hitter and superb outfielder. 1946-7, The Electrics; 1948-61, The Tigerettes; 1962-3, CUAC. She led her teams to repeated league championships, one Western Canadian Championship and was added for another, pitched several no hitters and a one hitter, won a league batting championship, an MVP and starred in many all-star games. For more than two decades, Donna brought excellence and excitement to Winnipeg softball. A unique and wonderful hero.

Builders

Ernest Delorme: For 40 years, Ernie was a dominant softball pitcher in south central Manitoba. Like everyone else in the 1930’s, he started playing ball at school. Exhibition games and tournaments were played in a near-by pasture. However, in 1965, the Highway # 23 League was established. After playing his first year with Baldur, he joined the Mariapolis Blues. This team won repeated league championships and softball tournaments. Batters feared Ernie for the accurate location of his rising ‘straight-balls’ and curves; fans revered him for the excitement he brought to the game and the community; and, young players dreamed of one day becoming a Mariapolis Blue. Ernie, a legendary presence for softball.

Garry G. Johnston: For more than 30 years of softball, Garry Johnston was a highly respected player, coach, instructor, manager and board member. His amateur teams won seven provincial championships and two Western Canadian championships, and, his semi-professional team, The Internationals, competed well at the national and international levels. He served as board member for various leagues, as coordinator for the 1976 Softball Summer Games in Neepawa, as governor for the Manitoba Softball Association, as co-chair for both the 1998 Senior Women’s Canadian Championships at Bloomberg and the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. A kind, competent and encouraging force in Manitoba softball.

Coach

*Met Simenik: From 1947–1955, Met Simenik’s teams won fourteen championships – seven league, five provincials and one Western Canadian. In their June 3, 1951 issue, Softball News reported him as ‘the best manager in The 20th. Century Softball League’. It noted Met had single-handedly ‘built the Northern Hotel dynasty’, and in their August 30 issue, highlighted him as ‘all-star manager for the 20th. Century All-Stars’. The News described him as a true sportsman, fair and honest with his players and the softball community. Met expected his players to excel, and excel they did.

Teams

Native Sons (The Canucks): The 1930, 1931 and 1935 Native Sons – also known as The Canucks, formerly The Nifties - were dominated Winnipeg Senior Men’s softball. Two leagues competed - the Senior Diamond League and the Intermediate League. Top teams in each league competed for the combined city and provincial championship. The 1930 and 1931 Canucks won successive, league, city and provincial championships; in 1932, they won the league championship but lost the city and provincial championships to The Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA). After a two year hiatus, they returned in 1935 to win league, city and provincial championships. With ace Harold ‘Googs’ Hindle on the mound, the Canucks were once more dominant.

Clanwilliam Greys 1972-77: The 1972-77 Clanwilliam Greys Fastball Team represented the 100 inhabitant village of Clanwilliam, 40 miles north of Brandon. A team in their early 20s, they dominated fastball in southern Manitoba. They were undefeated during the first two seasons in the Minnedosa and District Fastball League; and, combined with tournament games, played 90 games in 1972 and 92 games in 1973. The latter brought them $1,100.00 in tournament prize money. With several additions, they joined the Brandon Centennial Fastball League in 1973, and by 1976, they won the league title and played in the Senior ‘A’ provincials for the 4th consecutive year. A dominating presence in league and provincial play.

Manitoba Men’s Masters Softball Team 1984-87: The Manitoba Men’s Masters, a roster of Manitoba all-stars, won two Gold, one Silver and one Bronze in four years of play at the Western Canadian Men’s Twi-Lite Fastball Championships. An unusual accomplishment in a tournament with such high levels of talent, skill and softball sense, where one or two runs usually determine the score, where team chemistry needs to jell quickly, strongly, supportively. A great team, a superb effort, a ‘gritty’ determination.

(*Deceased)

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