1960 Berwick Junior Legionnaires Softball Team
In 1960 Berwick had an Intermediate "A" Softball Team, known as the All-Stars. It was made up of local players and imports from Ontario and Quebec. The sport of softball was becoming popular and Berwick had several younger players who did not make the All Stars. Pat Hampsey, a top player in the area saw the potential in these players and decided to start his coaching career and formed a new team. Pat's father, Charlie and Earl Kinsman who were key members of the Berwick Legion secured the sponsorship of the team which became known as The Berwick Legionnaires.
At first it was thought that the team should enter as an Intermediate "C" team, but after considering all but a few of the players were between 15 and 21, Pat decided to register the team as Junior. The overage players "caught on" with local teams and Pat began his coaching career with these fine young junior players.
The year started off with the Berwick All Stars, Greenwood, Kingston, Aylesford, Cambridge and the Junior Legionnaires all in the Valley Softball League. The first part of the schedule was pretty bad for the Juniors. They were beaten badly every game with scores as lopsided as 17-4 and 20-0. In the second half of the schedule the Legionnaires became competitive. They started winning games, beating Kingston, Greenwood, and even the Berwick All Stars. In the last two games of the schedule, the Legionnaires beat Cambridge who went on to win the Nova Scotia Intermediate "C" Championship. For the provincial Junior Championship, it was decided Berwick would face the winner of the Trenton and Canso series, as these were the three teams registered Junior that year. Canso advanced to play Berwick in a two out of three series. The Canso Athletes travelled to Berwick Saturday, September 3rd and were soundly trounced by the locals 19-3 on a three hit performance by pitcher Gerry Murphy and home runs by Murphy and Greg Moreash. The Legionnaires traveled to Canso on Monday, September 5th and found themselves in a much tighter situation.
Fueled by a boisterous hometown crowd estimated at 3,000 - 4,000, which had to be moved back off the foul lines numerous times by the umpire, Canso jumped to a 5-3 lead after six innings. Berwick rallied for three runs in the 7th and added pairs in the 8th and 9th to win the game 11-7. After the game, the Bault Trophy was presented to Captain John Parker to the first Berwick Softball Team to win a Provincial Title. Coach Pat Hampsey remarked that "this accomplishment was not about what the players did, but what they did for each other."
This remarkable group put Berwick on the Nova Scotia and Maritime Softball map with most of the players staying together for several years winning a N.S. Intermediate "C" championship, a Maritime Senior "B" championship title and finishing runner - up in the Intermediate "A" Provincial final.
The achievements of the 1960 Berwick Legionnaires Softball Team makes these players deserving of recognition into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.
1960 Berwick Junior Legionnaires Softball Team Members
John Parker (Captain)
John Strong (Bat Boy)
Darrell Corbett (Assistant Manager)
Wes Keddy (Manager)
Pat Hampsey (Coach)
Inducted June 2006