#1 frank marshall
Today begins our weekly installment of " Star of the Week". Our esteem colleague Roddy Wetherell will be providing the text and interviews of the players chosen. Our hope is honor those who we have all shared a softball diamond with and have made a difference in the game we all love and played.
The honor of the first " Star of the Week" goes to Frank Marshall
Many of us began our fastpitch careers either toiling in organized leagues or by emulating our baseball heroes playing on our playground or elementary school teams.
This week's Star of the Week began his softball career as a 12yr old pitcher, throwing Canadian style as opposed to windmill, 3rd basemen and leftfielder playing for Rose Av. Public school in the Cabbagetown section of Toronto.
Frank Marshall, one of the most accomplished yet humble human beings in the softball community was drawn to the game by watching softball at Kew Gardens in the Beaches. Here, among a packed throng of 5,000 spectators, Frank would watch teams such as Tip Top Tailors and the stars of yesteryear such as Charley Justice, Cam Ecclestone, Ray Pulford and Abner Grant and dream of the day when he may have that opportunity.
Well that dream came true as a 17 year old when Frank joined the Dependable Caterers team in 1956 where he played for 3 years out of Dieppe Park. As with all talented players, Frank's skills were quickly recognized by many other players and teams and he was recruited by Randall Roy Metals in 1960 to pitch with them in the Beaches Major Fastball League, which was the premier league to play in at the time. Now instead of Frank going to watch games at the Beach, Frank was the one people came to watch! Pitching alongside fellow pitcher Ab Deasley,Frank pitched 9 years with Randall Roy. One of the hilights of Frank's career was with Randall Roy when the beat Dick Haymes, who was pitching for St. Thomas at the time, 6-2. Frank describes that team and the Richmond Hill Dynes team, who he was with in 1973 as the 2 best teams he has played on. Interestingly, Frank highlights the Oshawa Tony's team as one of the toughest he has ever played against.
Frank left Randall Roy after the '68 season and joined 7-Up Shopsy's / Tubecraft still in the Beaches Majors League until 1972. Frank left the Beach in 1973 to play for the vaunted Dynes Jewellers team out of Richmond Hill who were coming off their World Championship victory they had won in Manila in the Phillipines the year before. After 1 season with Dynes Frank went back to play in the Beaches for Wearever Aluminum from1974-1976. A little known fact is that Frank also played for the NHL All-Star team from 1964 -1970. After playing for Wearever, Frank returned to where it all began at Dieppe Park playing for Tri-fast until 1980. Following the 1980 season, Frank played continuously at Davisville, Topham, the Beaches Church League, where he played with his son John, and on the Toronto Islands. In 1990, Frank joined Bobby Smith's, a fastball legend in his own right and a member of the 1972 Dynes World Championship team, Bingo's fastpitch team and continues to pitch to this day in his mid 70's!
Looking back on his vast playing career Frank names, Rich Lunney and Peter Conacher as two of the best hitters he has pitched against and Fraser Scott, Bobby Smith and Derek Kinersley as some of the best he has played with.
With over 60 years of pitching experience under his belt Frank was asked to rate the best pitchers he has ever seen. He listed in order; Darren Zack,Eddie Feigner, Pete Landers, Dick Haymes, Ray Lauffman, Bob Domik and Metro Syerik.
Among Frank's illustrious career and accomplishments he highlights beating Eddie Feigner and the famed King and his Court team 4 out of 5 times. When asked to describe why Eddie Feigner would risk his reputation by playing against him and not having the success he was used to, Frank said they would have new sponsors and the team name would change, and Feigner wouldn't know that it was the same team until they came to play them! Among his many accomplishments and awards, Frank is a 3 time Bulova Watch Champion, 2 time runner-up and in 2012 Frank was inducted into the Bulova Watch Hall of Fame.
These days, Frank continues to dazzle those around him by still toeing the rubber and frustrating many a batter with his control and ball movement. When not playing he can be seen in the stands at many ballparks sharing his knowledge and expertise with those around him and re-telling many of his stories and memories. Frank maintains his unbelievable physical conditioning due to a commitment to his work-out regimen and an overall healthy lifestyle mixed in with the occasional glass of red for good measure.
Frank Marshall's storied career spans over 6 decades of playing this great sport we have all come to love. As Frank's formative years were watching his ball heroes playing at the Beach, so too were many of ours by watching Frank, not only play, but play with poise, dignity and a respect for the game and for those that came before him. Frank's legacy is embedded in those who came to watch him and learned how the game is played from him. It is our duty to pass that legacy and a love for the game, as Frank has shown, on to those who come after us.
To recognize his impact and importance on this great game we love to play, we honour the career and legacy of Frank Marshall as Scout Shootout Showdown's first "Star of the Week".