1975 Guelph Ingrams Fastball Team
From 1970 until the mid -1980s, the Guelph Ingrams Fastball Team was a fixture on the Guelph sports scene. Playing Friday nights at Exhibition Park, the Ingrams entertained the city while winning many championships over their 14 years of existence. The 1975 Ingrams team was the first ever Guelph team to win the Intercity Fastball League (IFL) championship, who many felt was the premier fastball league in Ontario.
The team finished first in the regular season, winning the pennant with a record of 24-8. Pitcher Ron Robinson led the way with 14 wins and two losses, and was named league MVP. Ron was also named to the first All Star team along with Bill Carey, Dan Arbic, Merv Richardson and John Benvie.
“A lot of teams brought in import players but we took a lot of pride in using just local players,” said manager John Benvie.
In the postseason Guelph first took out Waterloo three games to one before meeting a tough Hespeler team in the final. It was a hard fought series played over six weeks as wet weather and scheduling conflicts caused havoc with the schedule.
The Ingrams two big pitchers that year were Jimmy Clayton and Robinson but Clayton got hurt early in the semi-finals forcing Robinson to pitch the final nine straight playoff games, and he was masterful.
“He was the smartest pitcher I ever caught and he was a good hitter too,” said catcher John Kentner.
It all came down to game seven in a packed fastball enclosure at Exhibition Park. Fifteen hundred fans were on hand to watch Guelph storm out to an 11-0 lead. Robinson had a shut out heading into the final inning before giving up three runs making the final 11-3. The team was led in offence with multiple hits by Bob Granger, Arbic, Robinson and Earl Hayward. Hayward was also team captain and led the team in hitting with a .330 average throughout the season.
The Ingrams went on to win three more times in 1976, 1978 and 1979 and played in the IFL until 1984.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Team category – on May 15, 2019