Feb. 15, 1950 –
Simply put, Brian Anderson was one of the finest all-round athletes Cambridge has produced, competing in one of sport’s unheralded but most demanding athletic endeavours – the decathlon.
As a high school track and field athlete, he was a standout, winning the 1970 district 11 senior boys individual champion- ship, and advancing to the OFSAA Sr. meet in the long jump.
That year he became the national junior long jump bronze medalist in Abbotsford, B.C., and also won bronze in the Canadian junior men’s decathlon at St. Lambert, Quebec.
In 1973 he won the Ontario universities (OUAA) indoor long jump title and also won gold in the spring relay.
Anderson won the Ontario senior men’s decathlon championship in 1973 and was a silver medalist in the decathlon at the Canadian senior men’s track and field championships in Winnipeg.
He repeated as Ontario’s decathlon champion in 1974 and as the silver medalist at the Canadian championships. He also won the decathlon at the 1974 University of Michigan Invitational at Ann Arbor, Michigan and was a finalist for Cambridge athlete of the year.
He was also a star in provincial fastball circles, playing on several championship teams, including the 1973 OASA champions, Hespeler Simplicity, where he pitched and played outfield.
“He was an outstanding athlete,” recalls former coach John Rothwell. “He was world-class, and set an example with the way he went about things. He always gave it his all.”
The Simplicity team of 1973, inducted into the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame, was the first team to win a provincial championship for then newly-amalgamated city of Cambridge.
Anderson was a big part of that team’s success. “Brian had an air of confidence about him,” said Rothwell, who noted he had an immense amount of raw athletic ability. “He led by example, and it was fun having him on the team. We all learned a lot from him. He brought a great knowledge of the game and was always trying to improve. That was his character.”
In addition to his athletic ability, he was always prepared and conducted himself with class. Those who played with him or against him recognized his obvious hand-eye coordination, and his outstanding talent as both a hitter and pitcher.
“He was the MVP in the bet league there was,” said Rothwell. “That tells you what he could do. And he was a man of values. He was the kind of guy every coach would like to have on his team.”
In 1974 Simplicity won the Waterloo Chymers Fastball Tournament, and in 1976, won the CNE Bulova Watch Tournament.
In 1978 Anderson won the Ontario Fastball League’s MVP Award, playing pitcher-outfielder for the Kitchener Evergreens Fastball Club. He set the OFL record for RBIs in one season (32).
In 1982 he was named MVP in the Memorial Fastball League (MFL) as a pitcher-outfielder with the London Durston Pools Fastball Club.
Anderson twice represented Ontario at the ISC World Fastball Championships (Owen Sound, 1983, and Oshawa Merchants, 1979).
After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, Anderson became a high school teacher in London, and coached track and field for a couple of decades. He lives in London.