Softball Canada Announces 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

Softball Canada Announces 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

29 August 2023 Emma Lindblad

Ottawa, Ont.  Softball Canada is pleased to announce the inductees to the 2023 Hall of Fame class who will be inducted at the Softball Canada Annual General Meeting taking place November 9-11 in Niagara Falls, Ont.

The inductees are Brian Paton (Athlete – Ontario), Patricia Sparling (Builder - Ontario), Rosemary Theriault (Coach – Ontario), Mary de Bruyn (Official – Ontario), and the Orioles (Team -Ontario).

Brian Paton (Woodstock, Ont.) is a 17-year member of Softball Canada’s Men’s National Team and eight-year team captain. He is a four-time Pan Am Games gold medallist (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999) and a three-time 1992 ISF (International Softball Federation) World Tournament medallist (1992 gold, 1996 silver, 2000 bronze). At the domestic level, Paton was a member of the 1993-1996 Toronto Gators who won the gold medal at three Men’s Canadian Championships in a four-year period, winning the Canadian title in 1993 before going an undefeated 11-0 in back-to-back Championships in 1995 and 1996.The team was inducted into the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in 2018.

Patricia Sparling (Stevensville, Ont.) is a longtime volunteer and leader within the Softball Canada community. She is heavily involved in the Provincial Women’s Softball Association of Ontario (PWSA), volunteering her time as bid chairperson. In 2017, Sparling was inducted into the Softball Ontario Hall of Fame for her dedication to the sport of softball in Ontario. In 2019, Pat received the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for her 45 years of volunteering with the PWSA and Softball Ontario.

Rosemary Theriault (Lindsay, Ont.) has been involved in coaching for over 40 years. She has been the head coach of the Canadian women’s open softball team for the Maccabiah World Games since 2013, winning silver in 2013 and 2017, and bronze in 2022. Rosemary was the head coach of the North American Select in France and Netherlands from 1995-2004, winning gold in 2000. She was the Senior Women’s Head Coach of the Whitby Eagles from 2010-2017 who won gold in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017. Rosemary is a founding member of the Brooklyn Whitby Girls Rep Fastball Association and was an executive member of the Whitby Girls Softball Association, and the North York Women’s Softball League. In 2000, she was presented with the Women of Distinction Award from the YWCA Durham and was inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. She was the assistant coach of the Durham Lords in the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) from 2003-2020 and was inducted into the Durham College Sports Hall of Fame.

Mary de Bruyn (Brockville, Ont.) has an outstanding umpiring career that has spanned over 25 years. She umpired the 1996 Women’s Softball World Championships in Japan, where she earned the gold medal plate. In 1999, Mary umpired the Women’s Olympic Qualifier gold medal game in Venezuela and the women’s gold medal game at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, where she earned another gold medal plate.

The Orioles (Toronto, Ont.) have earned 10 gold medals at the Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships (2001, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2023), one silver medal (2006), and one bronze medal (2013) since 2005. The players from the team have won the following awards since 2005: 11 All-Stars, five Top Batters, one Top Pitcher, five MVP’s Qualifying Round, and six Top Players Championship Round.

Each year, Softball Canada inducts up to five (5) inductees from the region hosting the Annual General Meeting at the Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet. Nominations are reviewed by a Selection Committee, who select candidates based on their accomplishments and contributions to the sport of softball.