Moss memories

Kenn Oliver
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Many of the province's (and some of the country's) top softballers played in annual tournament

Torbay's Joey Maynard can clearly recall the day he was brought home by the police.

It's a memory he cherishes to this day.

Earlier that day, Maynard, then 14, and baker's dozen of his buddies from Torbay had blanked Cabot Street 4-0 to capture the seventh annual Constable William Moss Memorial minor softball tournament at the old Pleasantville softball field. In addition to the championship trophy, the team was rewarded with a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) motorcade through their town.

"For a bunch of 14-year-olds, that was a huge thing," says Maynard.

Gillian Tulk of the Virginia Park II team makes her way to third base on a teammate's infield hit during a game against the Conception Bay Central in bantam girls action at the Const. William Moss Memorial minor softball tournament at Bannerman Park Monda

Torbay's Joey Maynard can clearly recall the day he was brought home by the police.

It's a memory he cherishes to this day.

Earlier that day, Maynard, then 14, and baker's dozen of his buddies from Torbay had blanked Cabot Street 4-0 to capture the seventh annual Constable William Moss Memorial minor softball tournament at the old Pleasantville softball field. In addition to the championship trophy, the team was rewarded with a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) motorcade through their town.

"For a bunch of 14-year-olds, that was a huge thing," says Maynard.

"I remember the atmosphere and it being such a big event for us.

"I'm glad Softball Newfoundland and Labrador has continued on with it, even though they don't have the police presence like they had in the past. It's an important tournament because there's not as many around for fastpitch now, even the high school ranks are slo-pitch."

For Maynard, winning the Moss was the catalyst for a lifelong affair with the sport.

"When you get to that point and win the championship like that you get a taste for it and want more," says the 38-year-old outfielder for Lower Path Grill & Bar in the St. John's Senior league.

Torbay had competed for three years prior to its 1986 title and afterwards went on to win provincial championships in the bantam and midget divisions before disbanding after high school. Today, the only other player from the squad who remains active in local softball is Kevin Fitzpatrick who plays for Trimmer Homes in the intermediate league.

Still, it's safe to say some three-quarters of the current St. John's senior and intermediate is made up of former Moss players.

That number includes West Side Charlies/Bud Light chucker Lee Cose, who led Ferryland to back-to-back titles in 1996 and 1997, winning the top pitcher and playoff MVP awards each time.

"Going head-to-head with Jason Hill (and) Bryan Clarke, and a lot of other guys," says Cose when asked to relate some memories of his three years in the Moss.

"We all came up through together, playing Canada Games and what not."

"The Moss was part of what got me really into softball and for a lot of us, it led to Eastern Canadian championships and all those other tournaments. It was something to build on."

Some other names found on Moss scorecards over the years include veterans Colin Abbott, Darrell Walsh, and youngsters such as Mike Noftall, Shane Boland and Justin Gill.

"We've got a lot of guys like Jason Hill, Blair and Brad (Ezekiel), Stephen Mullaley, who all played in the Moss tournament and are now playing with Team Canada," says Maynard.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Moss. Both Maynard and Cose are hopeful the Moss continues for another 30 years and hope the game they grew up to love continues with it.

"If we want to grow fastpitch, we've got to get them started young," insists Maynard.

"When a kid first picks up a ball, if they face slo-pitch, that's all they'll want to face. But if you start them with fast (pitch), they'll get used to it and love it."

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Lower Path Grill & Bar, Team Canada

Geographic location: Torbay, Cabot Street, St. John's Ferryland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Philosopher
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Great story! I remember playing in the Moss for two years back in the 90s, it was an amazing experience. I still think about it every time I go by the fields in Bannerman Park or Pleasantville.

  • Moose
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    As did I Philosopher and you hit the nail on the head! I played softball for a good number of years in my youth and the Moss Tournament always stands out.