Ross Babcock (1916 – 1964)

Sport: Minor Hockey, Minor Baseball
Position: Executive Member, Coach
Year of Induction: 2004

About

In the early 1950’s Chatham Minor Hockey and Chatham Minor Baseball Associations were in their infancies. Ross Babcock was one of the leaders who stepped forward and used his organizational skills to improve both organizations at the executive level and at the coaching level. For almost 5 years from 1950 to 1955, he was responsible for implementing many positive changes to the fledgling groups, but unfortunately because of 2 heart attacks, the second one being fatal, his efforts, although extremely significant, were cut short. Ross was born in Newbury, Ontario in 1916 and passed away in Chatham in November 1964 at the age of 48.

Career Highlights

Chatham Minor Hockey

  • 1950 to 1955 – coached teams each year
  • 1952 became a director of Minor Hockey, in 1953 was chosen as vice-president, and in 1954 was president – during this period, chaired committees to set up a grading system for players, to provide rules of conduct, and to set up general rules for the association
  • Represented Chatham at the Ontario Minor Hockey Conference, organized first referee pool, organized a dinner of appreciation for coaches, managers, and referees, was registrar, and was in charge of publicity and allocation of extra ice time
  • Proposed and helped implement the concept of a full-time coach for all teams – after first heart attack in February of 1955, resigned as chairman
  • 1960 after returning to the CMHA, proposed, with Bob Ostrom, and then chaired a committee to implement a clinic system to teach skills to all youngsters – also recommended splitting leagues into A and B categories so that players were competing at equal levels, having all-star teams from one level compete against teams from a higher level, and wearing same colour uniforms for all all-star teams

Chatham Minor Baseball

  • 1950 to 1955 – coached teams every year, including 1953 Bantams who won first OBA Championship for CMBA – as well, convened one of the houseleagues each year
  • 1952 served as president of the Association – during this period, was instrumental in getting Jaycees to provide funds to build Jaycee Park for the squirt league, and in getting the Kinsmen to build diamonds at Kinsmen Park for pee wee baseball
  • Proposed the hiring of a professional coach and in 1953 Jack Fairs was hired which led to CMBA teams becoming extremely successful at the provincial level of competition

Awards & Recognitions

  • 1951 – was Charter Member of Chatham Minor Hockey Association
  • 1952 – was named Kinsman of the Year
  • August 1, 1952 Chatham Daily News Sportsman of the Week
  • 1955 was made Life Member of CMHA
  • 1965 – hockey trophy for Squirt League was renamed Ross Babcock Memorial Trophy
  • 1968 – new North Side Park was renamed Ross Babcock Memorial Park by City Council
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