Nelson Park Softball – Since 1971

Nelson Park Softball – Since 1971

In 1971 Nelson Park Softball started as a sub-division organization for youth Softball in the years when the sub-division was still under construction. Teams were formed by street designation. By 1973 Carol McCague took a group of girls within a certain age group and entered the Tri-County Girls Fastball League and thus began the first o f a long line of competitive Softball.

The girl’s teams still play North London, Byron and Oakridge, and, some years stretched out of town to Samia, Woodstock, St. Marys, Tillsonburg, Crediton and Dorchester. This created a high level of fastball for girls at all ages to compete in.

The Nelson Park Association provided an in house program for boys and girls from the immediate area at a very low cost. The organization reached its peak in the mid 80′s with up to 10 girl’s house league teams, 8 boys’ house league teams, and 4 girls’ competitive teams. We also had up to 6 T-Ball teams which played in the morning during the summer for very young players just getting started. About 450 youth from our immediate area played.

Currently Nelson Park Baseball has approximately 15 teams as the boys fastball in 2012 ventured into a larger more competitive outside league playing teams from Brantford and Paris. This is a new and exciting project for Nelson Park Softball.

Over the years several girls from Nelson Park have received U.S. college Softball scholarships.softball_guy

The Association plays regularly at East Lions, Lord Nelson School, Nelson Park & Admiral Park. Nelson Park was very instrumental in dealing first hand with the City of London in the original development of the baseball diamonds at Bonaventure School. Much of this planning and development was done over a considerable length of time in advance of the Bonaventure subdivision even being built. Optimist Bud Polhill was an important factor in this development in working with Optimist Jim Hamacher and Optimist Bob Stark from the association. Currently we are one of the main users of Stronach Park with teams that play in outside leagues.

The Optimist Club of East London first became involved as a sponsor in 1975 and has continuously sponsored every year as part of a long standing relationship. The Optimist name or logo has appeared on every uniform shirt that has been worn since then.

Through this relationship many individuals who were originally baseball people have gone on to be East London Optimist members. This group includes 4 Past Presidents of the Optimist Club: Carol Murray, Angus Murray, Jim Hamacher and Jason Hamacher. Another baseball person who also spent several years on the Optimist board was Gary Hawkins whose coaching career was very successful as some of his very young teams won provincial medals. In all about 20% of our current club were originally baseball people or were sponsored by baseball people.

The most important aspect of Nelson Park Softball is that in 41 years no child has ever been turned away due to lack of finances.

Submitted by Optimist Jim Hamacher

Skip to toolbar