Fastball championship revisits glory days

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – The sound of camaraderie could be heard well outside the Carp Agricultural Society Friday (April 29) evening, as roughly 175 area fastball enthusiasts looked back at the local history of the sport in West Carleton and got a glimpse to the future as well.

Last Friday, the organizing committee of the Alterna Savings 2022 U23 Canadian Fast Pitch Championship, scheduled for the Carp Fairgrounds this summer from Aug 2 to Aug. 7, hosted Alumni Night at the Carp Agricultural Hall – a tribute to West Carleton’s rich fastball history and an introduction to the coach and some of the members of the team that will represent the Ottawa Valley at the tournament.

For many, fastball is what you do so you have something to talk about over beers. For many in the close-knit crowd, they had either played with, or against, each other on the ball diamond many times over the years.

A photo of a historic bat.
A photo of the bat that won the 1965 WCSL Championship. Photo by Jake Davies

While there were no games scheduled that day, talk was all about the sport everyone in the hall loved so much.

“It was a great night to bring together fastball friends, many of whom we haven’t seen for many years,” committee chair Shawn Williams told West Carleton Online yesterday (May 2). “And what a success in terms of launching sales of weekly passes and gaining some momentum. We sold close to 100 full week passes on Friday night.”

Williams himself spent many years as a fastball umpire in the city and the valley. It means he knew many in the crowd personally.

“Probably three-quarters of the guys here hated my guts at one time or another over the years,” Williams joked from the podium Friday night.

“Still do,” an attendee replied from the audience.

The night was almost all about memories. Some incredible memorabilia was on hand in a sort of Ottawa Valley museum in honour of West Carleton and area fastball, including a 1966 Carp Flyers West Carleton Softball League (WCSL) championship jacket and the bat that hit a seventh inning walk-off home run to win the 1965 WCSL Championship.

A photo of a jacket.
The 1966 Carp Flyers WCSL Championship jacket. Photo by Jake Davies

Williams was sure to honour those fastball community members who were no longer with us, by holding a moment of silence.

Williams made special mention of longtime local fastball contributor Ted Metcalfe.

“I remember I once called a batter out from 75-feet (23 metres) away,” Williams said. “Ted kicked an outline of the batter’s box in the sand to make sure I could see it. I don’t think I spoke to him for three years I was so intimidated. I miss my dear friend Ted Metcalfe.”

Williams brought legendary Carp pitcher Wayne Morris on the stage to address the crowd.

“He’s synonymous with Carp fastball,” Williams said.

“I initially said ‘absolutely not,’” Morris said when Williams first asked him to speak at the event. “But then I though if I didn’t, you were going to have to listen to Shawn all night.”

Morris was too young to be a player for the Carp Flyers in 1965, but he was the perfect age to be the team’s bat boy.

“The diamonds weren’t really diamonds,” Morris said. “They were just fields with a backstop and some benches. There was a fence on one of them, but it was a snow fence and the ball got stuck in it or went through it. Now we have a wonderful facility that can host national events. That’s thanks to the pioneers fostering their love of the game. Who are the pioneers? They are the guys here who are in their 80s and 90s.”

Williams also brought the coach and some of the players of the team that will serve as the home team for the national championship.

Coach Kevin Collins introduced five of the players who will represent the Ottawa Valley at the tournament.

The team is based in Osgoode, with about half the team from the Ottawa Valley, from Belleville to Kitchener.

Williams said the team is focusing on getting ready for the biggest tournament of their lives so far. The team was able to play in the competitive Greater Ottawa Fastball League (GOFL) last season. The West Carleton Electric have played in the GOFL for years. The team will also try to get in to about five tournaments this summer in the lead up to the championship.

The Alterna Savings 2022 U23 Men’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship is scheduled for the week of Aug. 2 at the Carp Fairgrounds. An adult weekly pass is $40, and a senior pass is $35.

Tickets can be purchase here.

The organizing committee is also still seeking sponsors and volunteers. Sponsors can reach out to the committee by emailing and volunteers can contact

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