Clayton ‘Red’ M. Switzer

Red Switzer

Portrait by Robert Howson

For over 50 years, Clay ‘Red’ Switzer contributed to the betterment of sports in the City of Guelph as a player, coach, official and promoter of basketball, fastball, curling and golf. But he really left his mark as an outstanding fastball pitcher.

Switzer still holds many pitching records including a two year unbeaten streak when he went 20-0 in 1959 and 1960. He became somewhat of a local legend when he went the distance in a 23-inning game! At about 6’2” tall and around 200 pounds, he was an imposing figure on the mound. His blazing fastball was the key to his success while he pitched for teams like the Guelph Wellington’s and Guelph Ryan’s in the Memorial Intercity League, and Guelph Fiberglas in the City League. Switzer was an excellent varsity basketball player OAC, and a driving force in the establishment of the Guelph Curling Club. He was also given the Wilf Johnson Award in 1993 for “Outstanding Contributions the Guelph Country Club”.

He made his international mark in golf. He was elected President of the International Turfgrass Society in 1977 and organized the Fourth International Turfgrass Research Meeting in Guelph in 1981. That meeting put the City and the University “on the map” in terms of international strengths in this area of research.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Athlete and Builder categories – on June 2, 1999