Dick Hames was one of Canada’s premier amateur fastball pitchers. He enjoyed a 25-year career in the sport, during which he is said to have pitched over 30 no-hitters. Most notably, Hames pitched Canada to its first World Championships title in 1972.
Born in Windsor on December 10, 1935, Hames attended Victoria Public School and Kennedy Collegiate.
Hames began playing competitive baseball in 1954, when he competed in the Windsor Church League. From 1955 to ’58, Hames played locally with Bali-Hi, Embassy Hotel, and Silverwoods.
In 1959, Hames pitched for Providence, Rhode Island in American semi-pro baseball. With Providence, Hames defeated an Aurora Illinois team that had won the World Championship the previous season.
In the 1960s, Hames won two Ontario Senior “A” titles, with the St. Thomas Memorials in 1960 and with Windsor’s Calcot Hotel in ’67. In 1968, he pitched for the Winnipeg Molson Canadians, who represented Canada at the World Championships in Oklahoma City. Hames’ team won the silver medal, losing to the United States in the championship game.
The following decade, Hames led London Cable TV to the 1970 Canadian Title. Although he lost to Richmond Hill in the 1971 Ontario Finals, Hames was added to that team’s roster for the Canadian Finals, which they won. In both seasons, Hames was named the tournament’s top pitcher.
As Canadian champions, Richmond Hill represented Canada at the 1972 World Championships in Manila. Hames played the greatest game of his career in the final, pitching an 11-inning shutout and driving in the game’s only run as Canada defeated the USA 1-0 to win the World title. Hames had also defeated the American team in the round-robin stage.
Unfortunately, upon returning to Canada Hames realized that he had contracted a serious viral illness while in the Philippines. The virus interrupted his baseball career, keeping him out of action for two full years. Although he eventually returned to the game, Hames, by his own admission, was never the same pitcher again.
Hames played competitive fastball on a part-time basis thereafter. Between 1976 and ’78 he played for teams in St. Catherines, Burlington, and Oshawa in the Ontario Fastball League.
In 1989, Hames was elected to the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame.
Although Hames is recognized as a fastball player, he also achieved success on the basketball court. As a young man, he was a member of the 1955 Windsor AKO Juniors, an Eastern Canadian finalist team. In 1967, he played for the Sarnia Drawbridge Inn, gold medalists as the first ever Canada Games, held in Nova Scotia. He is a member of the Sarnia Basketball Hall of Fame.