A.K.O. Fraternity comprised of a massive group of outstanding individuals starting back in 1929 when it was formed.
The birth of one of Canada’s best known and most respected Youth Sports Organizations took place in 1929, when seven young students at Windsor Walkerville Technical School (later W. D. Lowe High School), formed a Fraternity. The “Magnificent Seven” were Norm Hull, the group’s first President, Bill Begley, Ron Truscott, Jay Love, Ivan Stokes, Jim Fairhurst, and Jack McMillan. The name of the club was selected by one of their teachers, Mr. Siers. It translates to mean, “The first and last”. (Excerpt from the Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame).
The people associated with this organization are far too many to mention, however, they were the most committed group of people who produced many Local, Ontario, and Canadian Champions in all sports.
The administrators, coaches and managers helped all of us become the best we could be. Many of the coaches' influences were seen in the type of people they molded through football, baseball, hockey, softball, lacrosse, and basketball.
Our love and memories of this organization and the many volunteers will be preserved forever.
London’s first and only national senior men’s softball champion. Won 1970 title in Winnipeg putting London on the softball map. The team often drew crowds of 2,000 at Labatt Park. Bill Watkin was Field Manager of the title team that was honoured with a parade in downtown London on their return from Winnipeg.
Second baseman Ralph Paterson captain. Norm Aldridge trainer. Dick Hames (3-0), Pete Landers (2-0) and Dave Cox (1-0) were the pitchers. Watkin was named to the tournament all-star team along with Hames, outfielders Rick McCaw (3 homers), Charlie Winger (7 hits) and Jim Brown (7 hits).
TV Cable also won the Ontario senior title and the Inter-City League Championship in 1970. They later became known as the London Dukes.
Front row left to right: Ralph Paterson (Captain), Dave Cox, Charlie Winger, Dale Gooding, Ted Morrison, Bob Loveless, Rick McCaw, Ron Sadler.
Back row left to right: Alan Watkin (bat boy), Don Plumb (inset), Tom Timbrell, Jack Sneddon, Hal Weingrenowich, Pete Landers, Dick Hames, Herb Peterson, Dave Bell, Vaughan Carpenter, Jim Brown, Bill Watkin (Manager/Coach).
Super-imposed: Norm Aldridge (Trainer). Excerpt from the London Fastball Hall of Fame
The Dynes Jewellers fastball team began its quest for a World Championship by capturing the Senior Elimination Tournament in 1971. The team then travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia as the Ontario representative to compete in the National Championships. The Dynes won six games to win the Canadian Championships, and in doing so, won the right to represent Canada at the World Championships in Manilla, Philippines, in March 1972.
The Dynes had a record of 12 -1 and won the Championship by defeating the United States 1-0 in 11 innings. Excerpt from the Richmond Hill Hall of Fame
Back Row (left to right): Angus Philip (Business Manager), Joe O'Neil, Stan Thornington (Coach), Bob Kennedy, Bob Domik, Dick Hames, John McDonald, Done Lee, Les Downing, Bill Drennan, Vern Dynes (Sponsor).
Front Row (left to right): Bob McLennan, Casey Cripps (Manager), Derek Kinnersly, George Chapman, Bob Shelton, Paul Philip (Bat Boy), Gary Jodrell, Duane Reid, Brian Ferry, Bob Smith (Captain).
In the near future, we will be honouring all the inductees at our OPEN HOUSE at The Windsor Sportsmen's Club
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Annual Golf Tournament to help support and promote the great sport of Fastpitch Softball.
Details to follow on our FACEBOOK PAGE!
Please contact Don Dominas if you would like to volunteer or make a donation email@example.com
Wow, you've made me tear up. I'm such a proud daughter. I loved those years and remember you (and Moonie) fondly. Thank you for this. I need three plaques please. One for myself and one for each of my children. Can't wait to post this myself, my friends call him "Good Looking Gord". Such fun, for years,
I know he's holding court up there with some great guys, playing ball, a little golf and some gin (cards, only CC for him)!Thank you, I can't wait to visit the site. Love it.
Karen Plenderleith White
Thank you, I’m overwhelmed to say the least, to have three family members inducted. My Mom will be overjoyed when I tell her and my other sister as well.
Thanks so much for the email. It’s such a great honour for my dad to be recognized in this way. I was really moved when I read your message.
Katie Czerwieniec Solly
I’m honoured and humbled and extremely proud to be recognized as an inductee to this long overdue fraternity. Fastball consumed my life for over 20 years and resulted in meeting hundreds of players, many became life long friends like yourself...the competitiveness and team approach helped me become successful in the business world and many other aspects of life...an honor such as this just puts the final touch on being recognized for competing hard with some success...I’m looking forward to sharing this with my family and friends...I would be remiss in not thanking you for your tireless efforts to form this award and bring recognition to our great sport...thank you for this honor
Glad I was able to donate to such a great cause.
Lots of smiling Kaschak's today after hearing the wonderful news.
Fastpitch softball and baseball were such a big part of Biggie's life. I was lucky enough to play both baseball and Fastpitch Softball for him and enjoyed a great deal of success with his guidance.
I've been around the game a long time myself and really don't know anybody else who gave as much of his time to the great game.
Thanks again for what you and your Committee are doing Roger.
Gary Kaschak City Councillor for Ward 8 in Windsor
Dear Hall of Fame Committee:
I am proud and honored to be inducted into the Windsor Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame. My brothers and I participated in sports since grade school, including peewee football, grade school basketball, softball, high school basketball, football, track & field, hockey and volleyball. During the summer months we played fastball as well as Class E and Class D hardball winning championships in each division.
After high school while attending W.O.I.T (now St. Clair College) Rog and I played together on the basketball team.
Athletics played big part of my life for many years until 2002 when I underwent a liver transplant. I returned to sports in 2004 when I joined the W.E.C.S.S.O senior slo-pitch league and continued until Parkinson’s Disease made me hang up my glove. The WFSHOF has brought back so many wonderful memories of terrific friends and athletes. Thanks for the memories!!!
What a great honour to have Biggie inducted in the WFSHOF on the inaugural selection. Baseball was a very big part of his life and his dedication and commitment was not matched by many. He would be truly honoured. Myself and the entire Kaschak family thank you for this well deserved appointment. A special thank you Roger along with your committee for keeping the memory of this great game of Fastball alive in the City of Windsor and Essex County.
Thanks for doing all that you do. It means a lot!
Doug & Shirley Collins
I cannot express how appreciative I am for your kind nomination putting me in a class of so many great players and wonderful people. It is humbling and an honor. I will cherish this induction for my remaining years.
To be placed alongside the likes of Bob Fraser, Hector Marinacci, Bob Schroeder, Don Dominas, Gord Haidy, Bill Noble, Garrie Nolan, Russ Evon, Tom Awad, Em Awad, Richard Awad, Dick Hames, Metro Szeryk, Al Zakoor, Sam Sisco, Evans Telegadas, Sam Sisco, Earl Dafoe, Earl Smith, Ted Zalba, Bernie, Eddie, Jimmy & Leo Hogan and the list goes on and on is unimaginable.
Each day I am truly thankful to have the mindset to look back at all the friends we've made and reminisce about our accomplishments and disappointments. It also saddens me that so many are gone and they are unable to celebrate with us.
Hopefully, we can provide a
"Day in the Sun" for the relatives and friends of those inductees who have passed on and those inductees still living.
I am looking forward to the day when all the plaques are displayed at both the Windsor and Riverside Sportsmen Clubs and we can all meet and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with old friends.
Thank you for including my Grampa Butch in the Windsor Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame, I am proud to be from a family of really great athletes and warm people. Best Wishes to you and your family.
How wonderful that Joe Ponic is being recognized by your association. He truly was a great man and missed dearly by many!
I would like to make a donation to your association. Can you please tell me how I do that.
Roger, Thanks so much to you and your committee for honoring our Dad Leo and Uncles Jim, Eddie and Bernie into the WFSHOF. I guess they were all a little better than they let on.
You and your team did an incredible amount of work, in not only your selection efforts, but in sifting through the archives of The Windsor Star articles and providing them on your website for everyone to read. Kudos to you and your team!
The names, stories and articles brought back so many memories of watching games at Windsor Stadium and Lanspeary Park as a kid with crowds in the hundreds. My Dad would always tell us when and where Don Dominas or Gord Haidy were going to pitch and we would always see this 'hot shot' Roger Awad banging out a couple of hits too. It's all good stuff.
Thanks again Roger.....you and your team should be applauded for your efforts!
Thank you Roger very much it makes him and I very happy....again thank you for your work.
Don Dominas Jr.
On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank you for acknowledging Don’s accomplishments and his love and participation of sports. He certainly has left his mark in the community and beyond.
Thank you for all the work you have put into establishing the “Windsor Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame” and honouring the many local recipients. I would like to order a memorial plaque and will send that on to you in the mail.
What a great thing you are doing for all those forgotten athletes. I think I worked with half of them at the Brewers Retail as Gord Plenderlieth got them all hired. Good bunch of guys!
I would love to buy a plaque for my dad, Paul Bombardier. Thank-you so much for recognizing his dedication! He has committed so much to baseball and pitching, it makes me so happy to see him celebrated for that!
"You, Hector and your committee have been doing a great job and should be congratulated on your efforts. Thanks for honouring my Father and Uncle Flash Genga."
Thank you so much!!!!!!
This is such an honour and privilege! Thank you so much for considering me for this opportunity! This is absolutely surreal!
During the 1940's, 50’s and 60’s Windsor was the epicenter of Ontario Softball. The WFSHOF is a showcase of the many great teams, players, sponsors & organizers that made Windsor the hotbed of the sport.
Congratulations to our parents Al and Joan Zakoor for their continued love and support to each other and to their family and their friends and to the larger fastpitch community.
Our father’s contribution to the Windsor Fastball scene is indeed a remarkable story; one in which very fond memories arise.
Thank you very much for honoring our father Alfred Zakoor, into the Windsor Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame.
Roger, you have been a wonderful friend to our parents for many, many years. Thank you for that.
Joal, Marc, Denise, Matthew, Chris and Jon.
Thank you so much for recognizing Mike for his fastball contribution. Our family is thrilled!
Of course we always thought he was the "best". I am sure he and his buddies in Heaven are very happy about this
Thanks so much for doing this for my dad. We appreciate this and I am sure he will too.
Paula & Steven Radovich
Dear Roger, On behalf of the Genga family, I thank you for the honour bestowed on our beloved Flash and his fastpitch softball career. The plaque will be a treasured keepsake. Congratulations to you and your committee on your exceptional work you are doing.
I was very touched to read your email as was my Mom. My Dad's accomplishments in sports still makes us very proud. I have very fond memories of watching the team play at Windsor Stadium and on all the trips. I loved going to all the different cities and remember Dad would manage to show us the sights in between games. My mom and I will be buying a plaque to preserve my dad's legacy.
Thank you for your work in establishing the Hall of Fame.
This is quite humbling and overwhelming!!! Thanks to you and Doug Wiseman.
Thanks so much Roger and your committee, not only for me but for all the other fastball people that are being recognized for their accomplishments, long overdue. It took you to get it going.
Well, let me be the first to congratulate Mary Caton on this award. I had the pleasure of playing with Mary ,many years. As her 3rd baseman, many of times I had to cut her off from a play. lol. Kidding, she was great at short stop, and had been known to even put the pads on behind the plate.
Nice touch, recognizing women who played the game, and in the day, it was a great competitive league to play in.
Mary Beth(Bessie) LaMantia
Wonderful news! My dad would be so humbled and proud. Thank you for recognizing his talent and contribution to the fastball community.
Please accept our appreciation of your efforts in establishing this group to provide the much needed recognition for these players. This will ensure that they will always be remembered for the excellence of play they exhibited.
Gary E Otton Treasurer Windsor Retirees Sports Activities
We are so excited that my Dad is an inductee in the Windsor Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame! We are all so proud of his accomplishments and enjoyed attending his games. He would have been so happy to have this recognition. He was always someone who, once committed to doing something, gave it 200%!"
Jimmy Dimitroff also known as "Lefty" was a family man who enjoyed his job, his children, his friends who left this world too soon. He was only 53 when he passed away. He was an exceptional soft ball player who would be honoured but embarrassed to receive this wonderful award for something he loved to do. His family is very proud to accept this award in his name on his behalf.
Sincerely, His children.
Thank you for the honour of being inducted into the WFSHOF. I am ecstatic that my dad Thomas and my mom Drucilla are also being inducted at the same time, after playing softball in the 1930's and 1040's. That is so amazing. Thanks again.
I know in all the excitement all us girls are so proud of my Dad . My sister Cheryl who lives in Chatham started crying when I showed her your post yesterday and wished dad were still here. It is a very emotional time for us we all wish mom was here to share in the pride that we feel. My mom Shirley would have been beaming with joy and in shock the same as we all are. Even though dad is gone he still finds ways to make us proud still. We miss them both, but we find joy and happiness with the memories we all can share through this wonderful tribute."
What an INCREDIBLE way to end my work day! Wow- I'm so incredibly honoured and humbled by this. Thank you to your committee for recognizing my contributions as a player and leader in such a unique way! Also, thank you to Stoney for such a touching write up in his nomination of me, to the selection committee ♥️ I share this award with so many people over the years who were an integral part of my development as a player- my coaches, my teammates and their families, my own family. I will forever be grateful for my many years as a Wildcat. The friendships and memories will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you again!
It was wonderful news and a great honour to be inducted into the Windsor Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame. I am extremely proud to be included among so many great athletes.
Thank you Roger and your committee for this recognition.