New Zealand great Bill Massey, WBSC Softball Hall of Famer, passes away at 83

New Zealand great Bill Massey, WBSC Softball Hall of Famer, passes away at 83
Massey was New Zealand’s ace in the first two Men’s Softball World Championships in 1966 and 1968.

New Zealand softball legend and WBSC Softball Hall of Fame member Bill Massey passed away on Thursday, 2 July, surrounded by his family in Lower Hutt. He was 83 years of age.

Massey was the first New Zealand dominant pitcher on the international softball stage. He began writing history for the New Zealand Black Sox in 1966, leading the national team to the bronze medal in the first ever Men’s Softball World Championship, which was played in Mexico City. It was the first of 13 medals for New Zealand in the competition, including seven world titles. The 1966 New Zealand Men's Softball National Team was affectionately known as the Pilgrims, as the squad was the first men's team to represent the country.

In 2019, Massey was inducted into the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame.

"I do think it's a great honour for me and also for all my Railways clubmates who enabled me to be put into that position because of how good our club side was and, eventually, how good our provincial side was,” he told Stuff after his induction. "It's all credit to those guys, especially my great mate Terry Nunns, the catcher [a world softball Hall of Famer since 1991]. It's just overwhelming [to be inducted]."

Softball New Zealand paid homage to him with an on-diamond ceremony during the WBSC U-18 Men's Softball World Cup in Palmerston North earlier this year.

He was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.