The saying goes that Jackie Sheppard never met a softball she didn’t like. And for good reason.
Slo-Pitch National founder and former CEO, Jackie Sheppard passes away in her 79th year. http://yourlifemoments.ca/sitepages/obituary.asp?oId=1018842
A wake/memorial service will be held Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m. at The Shack, Unit 2, 954 Leathorne St, London, ON N5Z 3M5 Jackie was an ardent lover of pets and has asked that she be remembered with donations to the London Humane Society www.londonhumanesociety.ca
Jackie's Slo-Pitch National Family and Friends would like to extend their deepest condolences to Jackie's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
When slo-pitch softball came on the scene in the late 1970s Jackie was front and centre as an administrator in this new-found offshoot of fastball . Competition was for both men and women and soon its popularity overshadowed London’s vast array of fast-pitch leagues. The appeal was simple: Get 12 players, buy some T-shirts, everybody hits, everybody plays and join in celebrations after the games.
Jackie partnered with another slo-pitch pioneer, Larry Walsh, to help form the London Softball Association. They had started the Metro/Lounsbury league which was the first group of importance and the forerunner of the sprawling slo-pitch program administered by London’s PUC Recreation Department.
Walsh had been a pitcher of note in those halcyon days while Jackie was manager/coach of such women’s teams as the Ted Gilts Gems, CFB Rockettes and London Rebels.
Jackie was looked at as a person of authority by slo-pitch teams everywhere. She had this dream of establishing regional, provincial and national competition where men’s. women’s. and mixed teams could compete at all levels. Thus, Slo- Pitch National was born and Jackie was a natural to be its first chief administrator.
Jackie served Slo-Pitch National well. Her no-nonsense approach resulted in a long-standing sponsorship agreement with Molson’s, the implementation of programs for playing rules and regulations, safety, insurance, awards and umpiring.
Born on July 22, 1938 in Hamilton with the maiden name Robinson. She joked that she was the real Jackie Robinson. She was, indeed, the real deal for those who knew her, especially her friends and associates with SPN, becoming that organization’s first inductee into the Slo-Pitch National Hall of Fame in 1998. Jackie has done her sport and the London community proud. Her family — Shelagh, Sue, Scott and Jamie. her four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, can boast of being connected to a true legend.