Bruno (The Cannon) Lamarche
Year Inducted: 2002
The pitching mounds of local baseball diamonds served as centre stage for many splendid hurlers in the 1950s and 1960s, when the sport was at its peak in Cornwall. One of the best was Bruno Lamarche.
Bruno launched his pitching career in 1953 in the Our Citizens of Tomorrow (OCOT) program and soon became a standout. At first they called him good. Then they added a nickname which said something about his pitching style. He became known as “The Cannon”. A fierce competitor, Bruno pitched as if he had to strike out every batter. And, he did a pretty good job of it.
As a junior, playing for the renowned New York Café Aces, Bruno recorded two no-hitters. A third no-hitter was ruined by a single. He did however, in that game, strike out 10 batters, for a league-leading 93 strikeouts.
Bruno was a tireless pitcher. In an Ontario Baseball Association semi-final series against Oshawa, played on a long weekend, he pitched in all three games, giving up just 16 hits and striking out 20 in the three games as Cornwall won the best-of-three series. When his junior career concluded, Bruno moved up to the senior ranks with the Cornwall Pepsis of the St. Lawrence Valley Baseball League.
He soon showed that he wasn’t out of place in the senior ranks, adding two more no-hitters to his resume.
At his peak in junior, Bruno caught the eye of professional scouts and the Detroit Tigers invited him to their rookie camp. It was one of the few times a pro camp invitations had been given to a Cornwall baseball player.
In 1962, Bruno’s pitching achievements were recognized when he was nominated for the Jacques Richard Memorial Trophy, which at the time was awarded to Cornwall’s Outstanding Junior Athlete.