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Thursday, July 31, 2014
Lloyd Simpson


Lloyd Simpson, Administrators and Officials

Written by: Jamie Simpson

 

To people in Owen Sound, and ball circles, Lloyd Simpson was known as Mr. Fastball but better yet Mr. I.S.C.  The game of fastball was one which Lloyd had a passion for most of his life.  He spent sixty years of his life playing, coaching, managing, and being the President of local fastball in Owen Sound.  In the 1970’s, he was introduced to what he called “the greatest fastball show”. This amazing fastball show would become a regular part of his life.

 

In 1976 he took his league champion, King Farms of Owen Sound, to Long Beach, Ca to compete in their first-ever ISC World Tournament.  The team dubbed “Team Canada” finished 0-2; but more importantly this team paved the way for other Canadian teams that followed. The following year in Phoenix, three teams from Ontario, along with two other teams from Edmonton and Winnipeg, competed in the thirty-eight team tournament.

 

Carrol Forbes, founder of the ISC, appointed Lloyd as Travel League Director for his respective area in 1977.  For the following sixteen years, Lloyd would bring ISC fastball to Eastern Canada, and establish one of the longest running ISC leagues in North America.  During this time, he would become an ISC Travel League Commissioner, Eastern Area Canadian Commissioner, an ISC Executive Committee Member, and Canadian ISC Vice President.

 

With new ideas came hardships and hurdles.  With the lack of respect from the Ontario governing body towards the ISC, Lloyd was left to inform all teams across Ontario about this new fastball forum, its ideas and direction. He traveled across Ontario to talk to leagues, teams, and players trying to convince and persuade them to consider the ISC.  He would return home only to make another phone call or plan to who he would approach next.  

 

With perseverance his message started to get through to some teams and these teams began joining the ISC Travel League.  Over the years, many great teams have played in this league.   Teams such as the Owen Sound Selects, Waterloo Twins and Toronto Gators have shown great success at the ISC World Tournament.

          Lloyd wanted to grow the game outside of just the U.S.A. and Canada, he promoted the game internationally by hosting a tournament in Owen Sound that he called the “International ISC Tournament”.  Teams came from across Ontario bringing their best teams.  Teams from the Virgin Islands and Bahamas also attended this tournament.  He also brought in two International pitchers to play in the Travel League and tournament. This opened a door to international players playing in Ontario.

 

With the persuasion of Bob Tomlinson, Lloyd contributed to the start of what is now the I.S.C. Developmental Program.  In 1991, Midget teams traveled to the Midget World Tournament along with other teams from Ontario.  He phoned centers all across Ontario hoping that some of the teams would travel for a new experience in the I.S.C.  It was the first tournament of its kind, and there were teams from Chicago and Salt Lake City (Ken Hackmeister’s squad).   This tournament provided opportunities for other teams to venture in the following years. More and more teams wanted to go to this tournament as the years passed. This original tournament led to the Junior World Tournament and what the program consists of today.

 

Up until his passing in 1996 after a valiant fight with cancer, Lloyd knew that the youth was the future of the I.S.C.  This was always a focus for him to keep fastball going.  He established pitching clinics which are still running today.  In his later years he would be seen at ball parks with PCI on the back of his coat.  It stood for Pitching Coach Instructor.  He traveled across Ontario helping pitchers or looking for that “diamond in the rough”.  

 

He was proud to be part of the I.S.C. and everything it stood for.  His service to the ISC for sixteen years was one of the most important things of his life. 

 

Lloyd’s family including his wife Verna, twenty children and grandchildren supported him in all of his endeavors.  They are honoured and would like to thank the ISC for acknowledging him as a member of their Hall of Fame. 

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