In the early 1960’s softball was the most popular sport in Berwick largely because of the tremendous success of a team of gifted athletes anchored by the strong and resilient arms of two hard-throwing pitchers – one a southpaw and the other a rightie. The right-handed prowess was provided by Gerry Murphy who became the workhorse pitcher of Berwick teams for over a decade.
Gerry began his softball career in the late 50’s and when he was cut from the Berwick All-Stars in 1959, he decided to become a pitcher. With hard work, it soon became evident that a star was in the making. In 1960, Gerry’s strong pitching was a major contribution to the success of the Berwick Legionnaires – winners of the Nova Scotia and Maritime Junior Softball Championship. An even stronger performance was turned in the following year when virtually the same team won the Maritime Intermediate C Championship. During the 1961 season, Gerry was the winning pitcher in 22 of the 34 games won by the Legionnaires including all 9 play-off games. In 1963, the Legionnaires also captured the Maritime Senior B Championship again led by the dependable pitching of “Big Murph”. After losing the first game in New Brunswick against Camp Gagetown, Berwick came back to win two 1-run games before capacity crowds at Rainforth Park – both victories pitched by Gerry. He was a particularly strong in the final game of the championship series. After a couple of jittery errors by his teammates in the final inning to bring the score to 5-4, Gerry didn’t allow a ball out of the infield for the final outs.
Gerry was one of the most consistent and reliable pitchers in Nova Scotia during the 1960’s and he enjoyed much success at all levels from Junior to Senior A from 1960 to 1973. Among his accomplishments was pitching a nine inning no-hitter against Trenton in the 1965 play-off’s – a first for Rainforth Park. He also experienced great success in the Nova Scotia Mainland Senior Softball Association during its period of greatest prominence and popularity. He continued his association with and support of the sport after his playing days be becoming a well-respected umpire in softball.
Championship Teams on Which Gerry Pitched:
1960 Nova Scotia and Maritime Junior Champs
1961 Maritime Intermediate C Champs
1963 Maritime Senior B Champs
Inducted June 2000