Sports He's dedicated his life to softball. Now this N.B. sports legend is headed for the Hall of Fame
Country singer Tom T. Hall dies; wrote ‘Harper Valley PTA’
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tom T. Hall, the singer-songwriter who composed “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and sang about life’s simple joys as country music’s consummate blue collar bard, has died. He was 85. His son, Dean Hall, confirmed the musician's death on Friday at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. Known as “The Storyteller” for his unadorned yet incisive lyrics, Hall composed hundreds of songs. Along with such contemporaries as Kris Kristofferson, John Hartford and Mickey Newbury, Hall helped usher in a literary era of country music in the early ’70s, with songs that were political, like “Watergate Blues” and “The Monkey That Became President,” deeply personal like “The Year Clayt
George Gillett can't remember the exact year he played his first game of softball.
He knows he was a teenager at the time, and that it was sometime between 1945 and 1947.
But whenever it was, that first game changed his life.
He's since dedicated nearly 70 years to the game in his tiny southeastern New Brunswick hometown of Hoyt, about 50 kilometres south of Fredericton.
For that reason, Gillett has been selected to be inducted into Softball Canada's hall of fame.
20 celebrities who appeared on WWE
The cheerleaders at Jim Hill High School donate backpacks and other school supplies to Elementary students.
"It's been my life," Gillett said from the dugout on the field he built. "This is my home away from home."
Gillett remembers clearing alders in the 1950s to make room for the ball field that is still used every week. It has since been renamed the George Gillett Field in his honour.
In the '60s he coached his team to a Maritime Championship. He would go on to coach the Hoyt Schooners to that title more than a dozen times. He'd coach them to more than 40 provincial championships as well.
In 1981, Gillett worked to install the first set of lights in a New Brunswick ball field, allowing games to be played late into the night.
He's kept scorebooks for nearly every game ever played on that field, dating back to 1959.
Canadian softball players hope pro league can continue sport's Olympic momentum
After winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, Canadian softball players Sara Groenewegen and Victoria Hayward are set to play in the professional league Athletes Unlimited beginning on Saturday. They hope the showcase can continue momentum Canada earned in Japan.The medal travelled to Vancouver, Whistler and Kelowna. It's been in coffee shops and restaurants. It spent plenty of time in its owner's trusted fanny pack.
But ask him how many teams he's coached and he's at a loss.
"Oh my God, I couldn't count them all, I don't think," Gillett said. "I'd take a team when they were five years old and coach them until they were at least 18 or 20.
"One time I coached [until they were] 45 or so. That's how I won all the championships."
Gillett has kept a jersey from every Hoyt team that's ever played at the rec centre next to his field, along with dozens of trophies and photos from every team he's coached or played on.
That includes the very first team he played on back in the '40's.
"I'm the only surviving member of that team," said Gillett. "The rest are all passed on."
At 87, Gillett still works on the Hoyt ball field daily, although he admits friends and neighbours often chase him off the field for working too hard.
Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall announces he's retiring at season's end
After loss to Holy Cross dropped the Huskies' record to 0-2, Edsall, 63, announces his 17th season at Connecticut over two stints will be his last.Edsall, who is in his second stint at UConn, has led the Huskies to a 6-22 record since returning to Storrs four years ago.
Last week he helped install new playground equipment at the ball field in the memory of his late wife, Anna.
As much time as he spent on the ball field, he said, she matched it working at the ball field's canteen, serving up "millions" of hotdogs to those in the stands over the decades.
He still visits her twice a day at the cemetery near his home. Once in the morning and once at night, under the headstone that bears their names along with a large carving of a ball field inscribed with the words "Field of Dreams."
After coaching countless teams since the '50s, Gillett can still rattle off the names and stats of the players he coached who went on to play in much bigger leagues than the Maritimes.
"Sonny Phillips, he went to the Pan-America Games, he was the winning catcher," said Gillett. "And Lindsay Tracy, Donald Nason, Terry Youngblood."
Those players say they owe much of their success to Gillett's tutelage.
How to watch Derek Jeter, Larry Walker's National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony
Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. How to watch the ceremony.New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter and Colorado Rockies star Larry Walker will formally be inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, on Wednesday after the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the event last year.
"We call George the godfather of softball," said Jeremy Tracy.
After playing softball as a child in Hoyt, coached by Gillett, Tracy went on to play fast-pitch softball across North America at the World level and spent a few years playing for Team Canada. A fellow New Brunswick Sports Hall of Famer, Tracy said softball owes a lot to Gillett.
"Softball probably wouldn't even still be going if wasn't for George still being involved in the game," he said. "There's no person more deserving."
Those who still live in Hoyt point to softball and the field Gillett built as the centre of the community.
"George is my oldest friend," said David Kirkpatrick. "I've had two grandfathers that have passed, but I've still got my George."
Kirkpatrick was nine years old when he started playing softball, coached by Gillett. He can still remember going to tournaments with 12 other players, plus equipment, stuffed into Gillett's eight-seater van.
Now 45, he still plays for the Hoyt Schooners. And George comes to every one of his home games.
"I don't think I'd know what community was if it wasn't for George," said Kirkpatrick.
'More than just a game': Derek Jeter thanks Yankees, fans in emotional Baseball Hall of Fame speech
Jeter highlighted the Baseball Hall of Fame class that also features Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller.Jeter was the star attraction in a ceremony delayed by a year also honoring Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller, founder of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Despite the praise, Gillett said he kind of wishes people would stop nominating him for halls of fame.
He was inducted into the New Brunswick Softball Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, back in 1994.
"I didn't really need another one," he said. "I've got three now. Sport New Brunswick, Softball New Brunswick, and Oromocto and Area. Five of my teams have been in the hall too, but I guess I have to do what I'm told now."
Gillett will be inducted, along with John MacEwen of Nova Scotia, at the Softball Canada annual general meeting, set for Nov. 11-13 in Fredericton.
32 things we learned heading into the 2021 NFL regular season .
With Sunday marking the beginning of the regular season for the bulk of the NFL, here's everything you need to know to get set for the new year.1. These Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the first team in the salary cap era (since 1994) – and first since the 1977 Oakland Raiders – to return their entire Super Bowl lineup intact ... and that doesn't include WR Antonio Brown, TE O.J. Howard, rookie OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and RB Gio Bernard. The table couldn't be set any better for the Bucs to become the ninth team, and first since Tom Brady's New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004, to pull off the Lombardi Trophy repeat.