Casey Cooper – Athlete

Portrait by Robert Howson

Casey Cooper was a crafty lefthander that gave batters grief on both sides of the plate. He played minor baseball in Guelph before graduating to the Junior Royals in 1991 where he was named, not only Rookie of the Year, but, Pitcher of the Year. He would be named the top junior pitcher the following season as well.

Cooper then went on to have a long and successful career with the senior Guelph Royals in the historic Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) from 1994 to 2003. With Cooper as a key member of the rotation, the Guelph Royals won two IBL league championships in 1997 and 2003. In his first two years in the league he was named Pitcher of the Year and was tapped as the Royals most valuable player.

“I would describe him as a stylish lefthander,” said long-time coach and manager Paul Ante. “He didn’t blow it by anyone but he could spot his fastball and had good off-speed pitches that kept hitters off balance. Whenever he went to the mound I was counting on seven innings if not a complete game.”

Over his Intercounty career Cooper pitched in 112 games, threw 770 innings, with a win-loss record of 59-27 and a lifetime ERA of 3.29. His career innings pitched were the 7th highest all-time and his win total 8th all-time in the IBL when he retired.

In addition, in 2018, the IBL celebrated its 100th season by announcing the top 100 IBL players of all-time. Cooper’s name was on that list out of 16,000 athletes who had played in the IBL over those 100 years.

Cooper also had a distinguished college career south of the border with a career record of 18–4 playing for nationally ranked Flagler College (Florida) and powerhouse Dallas Baptist University (Texas) receiving numerous Pitcher of the Week awards.

“Casey was always a great teammate and he and other Hall of Famer, Mel Melehes were the two best pitchers born in the city of Guelph,” said Ante.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Athlete category – May 15, 2019