Stats on every at bat for every last batter at each and every game across senior, junior and intermediate regular season, playoff and tournament play has been kept, along with stacks of newspaper articles, old photos and memorabilia dating back as far as 1957.
As the collection grew, a friend in the media — The Telegram sports department’s Brendan McCarthy — urged Barron to preserve the history of the league and digitize the mountain of information.
“I said, ‘No way. I’m not the one for that.’ My knowledge of computers is very limited. I never grew up with one at my fingertips,” said Barron, the long-time St. John’s Molson Senior Men’s Softball League secretary-treasurer.
Nevetherless, the seed was planted, and Barron kept an eye out for someone to enlist for the task.
Around the same time, Gerald Gosse was playing senior ball for Impact Signs. In addition to being the team’s catcher, Gosse also served as its webmaster, designing and maintaining a team website.
The site was the envy of other senior squads, who then saught Gosse out to design and maintain sites for their teams.
“It took on a life of its own,” says Gosse.
“When I stopped playing senior to play intermediate, I decided to stick with one site. It made it much easier.”
In 2004, their partnership began when Barron approached Gosse about digitizing some stats — “it ended up being the whole history of the senior league from 1957 to 2004,” says Gosse, who grew up minor softball at Mundy Pond.
www.NLfastpitch.ca had arrived.
“It’s just snowballed.”
Gosse, a Memorial University commerce graduate, says for a small site meant to serve a small number of individuals, the number of hits it receives are, “unreal.”
“And it’s not just here, it’s across Canada and the States.
“I’m after hearing a lot of people make really good comments about the site.”
While the leagues have their own scorekeepers who attend the actual games, Gosse is responsible for disseminating all that information to the website and the media on a nightly basis.
“I like the stats and keeping them, making sure everything is in order. There’s nothing worse than having a game on a Monday night, and you get the results on a Tuesday.” - Gerald Gosse
“I like the stats and keeping them, making sure everything is in order,” he says.
“There’s nothing worse than having a game on a Monday night, and you get the results on a Tuesday.”
There are times when Gosse is wearing both hats; those of player and statistician. Like last weekend’s intermediate provincials. On top of playing for Whalen’s Pub, Gosse had to compile all the stats and send out daily reports to the media.
“Tournaments are a different story. It takes a bit longer because you’re gettiing all the information (scoresheets) at once.”
This season, Gosse has taken on the added responsibility of scoring the Moss tournament and maintaining Softball Newfoundland and Labrador’s website.
Barron doesn’t mince words when speaking about Gosse’s value to the leagues.
“We wouldn’t have a site without him. If it wasn’t him, we’d have to try to get someone else, and good volunteers like that are not easy to come by.
“Some people do a job and only half do it, and only when they feel like it. You don’t have to ask (Gosse) a second time. You know it’s going to be done right.”
Barron, regarded as Mr. Softball in local cirles, doesn’t know how much longer he will stay involved — “That’s the $64,000 question.”
When he is ready to walk away, he feels Gosse is more than capable to step into his shoes.
For his part, Gosse says no one can fill Barron’s shoes. And while he doesn’t see himself clocking 50-plus years like his mentor, his current role is bound to evolve and keep him involved, even after his playing days are through.
“I do what I do for the game
“When I finish playing, it’s something I can continue to do. I can’t see myself just walking away from it, that’s for sure.”