Brad Underwood, Player- Owen Sound, Ontario
Written by: Jamie Simpson
When Owen Sound is brought up in any fastball conversation, Brad Underwood’s name is usually mentioned in a part of the story. Brad’s fastball career started at an early age watching his father Bill pitch in the Men’s Fastball League in Owen Sound. Like his son, Bill was a fastball flame thrower who dominated opponents with his speed from 40 feet. Brad decided to take up pitching and follow in his father’s footsteps at a young age. The only difference would be that it would be from the left side.
At an early age, Brad established himself as a pitcher with a great amount of potential with a devastating change-up. Before the age of 19, he won numerous Ontario Championships: 2 Peewee, 1 Bantam, 1 Midget, won gold at the Midget Summer games, and two Junior titles. In 1980, Brad was part of a Junior Gold Medal team from St. Catharines. This was just the start of his accolades in fastball.
In the 1979 and 1980 ball seasons, the Owen Sound King Farms Senior Team called up Brad from his Junior team for some games. He compiled a 9-3 record with an impressive 110 strike outs. The following year, Brad became a force for the senior team from the pitching circle and batter’s box. He would remain with the Owen Sound team for the following 12 years with a brief stint across the border in Mount Pleasant.
In just over a decade, Brad was part of five ISC Qualifier Championship teams, five Ontario ISC League Championship Teams, four Ontario Championship Teams, and two Canadian Championship Teams. He was named to ISC All- World teams in 1987, 1988, and 1991. Brad’s amazing 1991 tournament brought him an ISC Outstanding Pitcher Award. His pitching performance in the final two days of the tournament is still talked about in fastball circles today.
In 1991 in Sioux City, Brad put on a show for the ages. On the final weekend, Brad threw a perfect game on Saturday night to vault the Owen Sound Canadian Tiremen against Guanella Brothers from Rohnert Park, California. Brad matched Chubb Tangaroa in a 22 inning marathon winning 1-0. In the 22nd inning, Brad singled, stole second and scored on a single up the middle in the top of the inning. He shut down the home side for a 1-0 victory. He then took to the mound moments later to throw nine shut-out innings against Penn Corp, Sioux City. The host team scored two runs in the 10th inning before Brad came out of the game. Players that were present at the game remember the standing ovation that Brad received from the hometown crowd. The second place finish by Owen Sound was one of the best finishes by a Canadian Team up to that point.
The 1993-1995 seasons saw Brad leave Owen Sound to play for the Midland Explorers, Green Bay All-Car, and the Toronto Gators. In 1994 as a member or All-Car, Green bay, he won his first ISC World Championship, was an All-World Selection, and an ISC Outstanding Pitcher Award. He also won the Canadian Championships weeks later with Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The following years, Brad repeated both titles, with the Toronto Gators.
Brad returned to Owen Sound for three more years before playing with Fingal in the ISC league in Ontario. Brad retired at the end of the 1999 season, only to come out of retirement for the World Tournament in 2002. His determination and effort to get back into form helped the Owen Sound Selects finish fifth at the World Tournament and win a gold medal at the Canadian Championships. Brad decided to retire for the second time when the season ended.
Brad ended his ISC fastball career with 2 ISC World Championships, 4 ISC All World Selections, 2 Outstanding ISC Pitcher Awards, one perfect game, 4 no-hitters, and is presently in second place in ISC World Tournament wins with 36 by a left handed pitcher.
Brad would like to thank the ISC for the honor of being a member of their Hall of Fame and allowing him to play in the best tournaments in the world. Brad currently resides in Owen Sound, Ontario with his wife Jody, and two children, Jenna and Bobby.