Russ Evon was a dominant fastball pitcher and baseball position player in the 1940s and ’50s. He is considered to be one of the greatest all-around softball players ever to play in Windsor. Evon famously managed to strike out 25 batters in a single game, which is a Canadian record to the best of the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame’s knowledge.
Evon was born in Windsor on August 15, 1917.
During his career, Evon played for a long list of teams in the Windsor Softball League, including Branch 12, Bendix, and Zakoor Aces. He also suited up for the Inspection Team in the Ford League and Harmony Sweet Shop in the Detroit Fastball League.
Evon was so overpowering as a pitcher that certain local fastball leagues are known to have banned him from participating. Although he is (rightly) most strongly remembered for his outstanding work from the mound, Evon was also a consistent .400 hitter at the plate.
In 1944, Evon moved to London, Ontario, where he played for the London Majors in the Inter County Baseball League. He ended up playing part in 18 seasons in that competition, maintaining an impressive career batting average of .345. With Evon hitting cleanup, the Majors won the North American Amateur Baseball Championship in 1948, defeating a club from Fort Wayne, Indiana four games to three in a best-of-seven series.
Over the course of his impressive career, Evon also participated in three World Fastball Tournaments as a player – plus a fourth as a coach – winning one.
Evon passed away on November 9, 1998.