Jim (Mr. Softball) Martell
Year Inducted: 2004
Jim “Mr. Softball” Martell’s love of softball began as an eight year old student at Cardinal Public School.
And as an 11-year-old bat boy for his father’s softball team he got a front row seat to senior games. It also made him one of the youngest players in senior softball.
The big “break” came when the team, short one player, put the young Jim into the lineup. He hit a single and played the outfield. He never looked back.
Later, when the family moved to the King George Park neighbourhood in Cornwall, Jim became a fixture at the popular park, shagging balls for the North End Fastball League. Recognizing the 15 year old’s talent, one of the teams signed him up. By the time he was 17, Jim was a regular and showing all the signs of being a natural hitter and fierce competitor.
In 1976, he won the Cornwall Sportsmen Softball League regular and post-season batting titles with a .415 average. It would be one of many batting titles and softball awards.
In 1979, he played with the renowned California Curies as they barnstormed North America. The New York Yankees offered him an opportunity to play for their Waddington farm team but he elected to stay with the Curies and their brand of ball.
In 1983, he started his own comedy ball act, The Prince and His Knights. The team continued until 1995.
He also played several games over the years with the World’s best-known softball team, Eddie Feigner’s The King and His Court.
During this time, he also played in the John Denneny Fastball League, and in 1985 and 1986 was captain of an Ottawa team which played a goodwill tour of the Dominican Republic.
Since 1995 Jim has played in the annual World Fastball Championships in North Bay. He played on the Championship team in 2000.
Jim has played in the World Masters Games, which are held every four years, in 1994, 1998, and 2002. In 1998, in Portland, Ore., his Victoria, B.C. team won a bronze medal.
In 2005, the World Masters Games will be held in Edmonton, and Jim will be entering a team from the Cornwall/Ottawa area.
Jim has given back to the sport he loves so much. Since 1999, he has been Vice President of Cornwall Minor Baseball Association as well as President of the Cornwall Black Sox.