Three-time WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup medallist Brian Paton, class 2023 inducted into Softball Canada Hall of Fame

Three-time WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup medallist Brian Paton, class 2023 inducted into Softball Canada Hall of Fame
Mary de Bruyn, an umpire who called balls and strikes at the Sydney 2000 Olympics Gold Medal Game, will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023.

Softball Canada announced the inductees to the 2023 Hall of Fame class who will be inducted at the Softball Canada Annual General Meeting taking place November 9-11 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The inductees are Brian Paton (Athlete), Mary de Bruyn (Official), Patricia Sparling (Builder), Rosemary Theriault (Coach), and the Orioles (Team).

Paton is a 17-year member of Softball Canada’s Men’s National Team and eight-year team captain. He is a three-time World Cup medallist (1992 gold, 1996 silver and 2000 bronze) and a four-time Pan Am Games gold medallist (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999). 

De Bruyn has an outstanding umpiring career that has spanned over 25 years. She umpired the 1996 Women’s Softball World Championships in Japan, where she earned the gold medal plate. In 1999, Mary umpired the Women’s Olympic Qualifier gold medal game in Venezuela and the women’s gold medal game at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, where she earned another gold medal plate.

Sparling is a longtime volunteer and leader within the Softball Canada community. She is heavily involved in the Provincial Women’s Softball Association of Ontario (PWSA), volunteering her time as bid chairperson. In 2017, Sparling was inducted into the Softball Ontario Hall of Fame for her dedication to the sport of softball in Ontario. 

Theriault has been involved in coaching for over 40 years. She has been the head coach of the Canadian women’s open softball team for the Maccabiah World Games since 2013, winning silver in 2013 and 2017, and bronze in 2022. Rosemary was the head coach of the North American Select in France and Netherlands from 1995-2004, winning gold in 2000. 

The Orioles have earned eight gold medals at the Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships (2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2023), one silver medal (2006), and one bronze medal (2013) since 2005.

Each year, Softball Canada inducts up to five inductees from the region hosting the Annual General Meeting at the Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet. Nominations are reviewed by a Selection Committee, who select candidates based on their accomplishments and contributions to the sport of softball.