Four-time Provincial Champions
The Galt Slees softball team grew out of the Galt Minor Softball Association in the early 1960s and before they were done, at the end of the decade, they had won four Ontario championships – an Ontario record – and a host of other honours.
The Slees name became almost legendary in Ontario fastball circles during the 1960s, which was a decade where they captured numerous tournament titles.
The Slees won provincial titles in four different categories: Bantam, Midget A, Juvenile A and Junior A, in addition to a number of league championships and tournaments.
They were so talented that as they progressed, they played in stronger competitive leagues above their age bracket. These leagues included the Inter-County Fastball League, the North York Major Fastball League and the Inter-City Fastball League.
The Slees were coached by Bob Cunningham and managed by Bas Ramsey. Under their guidance, the Slees were only the second Galt team to bring an OASA championship to the city. The first team to do so were the Galt Dubby’s Teeners, coached by Bob’s father, Jack Cunningham, in 1952. That, too, was an exceptional team, winning 37 straight games without a loss through league and playoff com- petition.
In 1963 the Slees became the only Juvenile team – some players weres till of Midget age – to ever win the Ontario Junior A Tournament championship. They won four straight games with four different pitchers.
Although the Slees were four-time provincial champions, only five members of the squad were involved with every championship. Those included Cunningham, Ramsey, pitcher Bob Eccles, shortstop Bill Doerfling, and outfielder Rod Hubbard.
In 1969 the team remained in the Inter-City League but changed sponsorships from the Galt Slees to the Galt Lincolns, sponsored by Babcock & Wilcox. In 1970 they were the Ontario Senior B Southern Ontario finalists, but it the end of a tremendous run. This was the team’s final year.
The Slees list of accomplishments is a long one, and includes:
1960 Ontario Bantam champions
1960 Inter-County Bantam champions
1961 Ontario Bantam semi-finalists
1961 Inter-County Bantam champions
1962 Ontario Midget A champions
1962 Lorne Ford Memorial Midget A Tournament champions
1962 North York Major Softball League champions (Slees were Midget team in Juvenile league)
1963 Ontario Juvenile A champions