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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Marty Kernaghan

MARTY KERNAGHAN, PLAYER
-by Roger May

Marty Kernaghan was elected to the ISC Hall of Fame as an infielder. He played in 11 ISC World Tournaments as a shortstop or third baseman from 1984 thru 1995, missing the 1994 season because of a broken leg.

In his first year of men's fastpitch, Marty played in the 1978 ISC with the Oshawa Tony's & then in '79 with the Camrose Merchants.

Marty played his minor softball in and around the eastern Ontario town of Grafton, where he was raised, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The Kernaghan family, parents Pat and Jack and their other 3 children, Peggy, Shelley and Marty's older brother, Sandy, lived in a house next to the Co-op.

Marty started playing softball as a pitcher and while playing in the Squirt Division, age 8-10, he pitched the Cobourg Team to a Provincial title, by defeating Brad Underwood and his Owen Sound team.

Marty continued perfecting his pitching by throwing almost daily. On one of these exercises, Marty convinced his sister, Shelley to grab a glove and catch for him.

While working on his rise ball, one of Marty's pitches really rose and tipped off the top of Shelley's glove, hit her right between the eyes, broke her glasses in half and broke her nose. Unfortunately, Marty was not able to persuade Shelley to tape up her glasses, get a towel to mop up the blood (so mom would not find out!) and continue catching.

Needless to say after that incident, Marty practiced against the Co-op wall which had a strike zone painted on it. Subsequently, of course, Marty's errant rise ball took its toll a number of times on the window located above the strike zone..

Marty continued to pitch during his midget, juvenile and junior years with a lot of success.

Grafton's Junior team, coached by brother Sandy, captured the Ontario title. This tournament featured Marty in a 19 inning, complete game marathon against the town of Verona, another small, eastern Ontario community. The game likely would have ended sooner but the umpire realizing he had just thrown the opposing pitcher out of the game, reversed his decision and allowed him to continue.

The following year (1978), a quarter of the way through the season, Marty joined the Oshawa Tony's, a powerhouse team in men's major fastball at the time. During that season Marty played mostly in right field. The following year Marty was coaxed into moving west to Camrose, Alberta by former Ontario pitcher, Peter Brown.

In the early 1980's Marty signed with the Calgary-based Alberta Brake and Clutch team which travelled to numerous invitational tournaments. With the increased exposure to major men's fastpitch, Marty's playing skills became apparent to others and in the mid-80's he joined the great Penn Corp team in Sioux City. It was with that club (later National Health Care) that he enjoyed his greatest success, playing shortstop and later moving to third base.

Marty still resides in Sioux City with wife, Beverley and daughters Jennie, 18 and Abby, 11. Both daughters play softball and you can bet they are well coached.

In a recent interview, Marty acknowledged the contributions made by his teammates and the opponents he faced. "During all my years of playing fastpitch", Marty stated, "I competed with and against the greatest players of my era. Without that competition I would not have had the successes that I achieved throughout my career. I was also fortunate in having some outstanding sponsors, managers and coaches, beginning with my minor softball days until my retirement".

Marty who is a successful, licensed pilot, noted that it was his softball skills that enabled him to begin a career that he thoroughly enjoys-flying for a living.

Marty Kernaghan was also a member of championship fastpitch teams in ASA & Softball Canada National Championships. In addition he was a member of Team Canada during the 1983 Pan-Am Championship as well as the 1992 ISF Men's World Championships, both times winning Gold Medals.

Marty Kernaghan was voted ISC All-World, eight times (1st team, 4 times; 2nd team, 4 times) and batted .361 getting 60 hits in 166 at-bats while scoring 31 times with 36 RBI's.

In thirteen ISC World Tournaments, Marty's teams won 4 championships, were runners-up, twice and 3rd , twice, with a 4th, 7th and 11th in three other World Tournaments.

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