Bill Bauer

Bill Bauer

In 2007 Bill Bauer was posthumously recognized for his years of dedication to sport in Cambridge with the Don and Benita Rope Sports Contributor Award.

Born just two weeks after the end of the Second World War, Bauer’s passion for sports, and for baseball and softball in particular, began early in life.

While he was still in his late twenties, Bauer began coaching the first Preston girls’ team in the Preston Girls Softball Association. That first coaching stint began a coaching career that lasted until the end of his life.

In 1977, just a few years after his coaching career began, he was elected president of the Preston Girls Softball Association. He didn’t know it at the time, but he would continue in that role for the next two decades.

A year later, in 1978, Bill started up the Preston girls’ travel team known as the Preston Pantherettes.

The City of Cambridge had been in existence for only five years at that point. By 1980, Bauer and John Rothwell, who coached girls’ softball in Galt, joined forces and amalgamated their two small-town travel teams to form the first-ever Cambridge Girls Softball Team. 

That was also the beginning of the Cambridge Girls Softball Association.

The formation of this new Cambridge league became the foundation of one of the first major associations for girls’ sport in the amalgamated city.

Bauer and Rothwell continued their coaching partnership until 1985 when Bauer took on his third travel team, which lasted from 1986 to 1991.

By 1994 Bauer was coaching his fourth, and final, travel team, the Cambridge Gorillas.

That team, comprising a bevy of talented players, advanced to the Provincial Championship under Bauer’s leadership. In a hotly-contested final game, the team came up short, finishing second in the province.

Bauer continued coaching the Gorillas until 2001.

During his coaching tenure, Bauer also coached Cambridge girls baseball teams for a decade in the Can-Amera Games.

Although his teams did not win as many tournaments as Bill thought they should, the talented groups of girls he coached for nearly three decades grew into accomplished women.

Bauer was also a longtime member of the Preston Scout House Band.

Bill died in 2003, and shortly afterward, his years of dedication and coaching were recognized with a Memorial rock, located between Preston Kinsmen diamonds at Riverside Park, the place that was the centre of his coaching life. In 2007 he was posthumously recognized Don and Benita Rope Sports Contributor Award.

His years of effort and dedication contributed significantly to making the Cambridge Girls Softball Association what it is today.