By WAYNE MARTIN
Former Black Sox pitcher Marty Grant‘s long and celebrated playing career is being recognised at the highest level with his induction into the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame.
Nelson’s ex-international hurler, former White Sox players Jackie Smith and Melisa Tupuivao and international umpire Wiremu Tamaki have been invited to attend a special ceremony at Softball New Zealand’s annual meeting in Wellington on Saturday where they’ll join an illustrious cast of 59 previous inductees, including Nelson’s Ed Dolejs – the former New Zealand women’s coach who was inducted in 1995. Dolejs is also a life member of Softball New Zealand.
There’s no question about 49-year-old Grant’s credentials in a career stretching back to 1979, having won three world titles, including a starring role on the pitching mound in the Black Sox’ 2-1 win over Japan in the 2000 final in East London, South Africa. He also won world titles in Midland, Michigan in 1996 and in Christchurch in 2004.
Grant attended five world championships, also winning two silver medals, and was part of the New Zealand team that won the Commonwealth Championship title in 2006. He played 54 tests for New Zealand between 1990 and 2009, winning 53 of them. He holds the all-time Black Sox record for games pitched, innings pitched, strikeouts and wins.
Grant was named New Zealand Softball player of the year in 1991 and was pitcher of the year five times. He won eight provincial championships with Wellington, six of them consecutively, and also secured five national club titles with Poneke-Kilbirnie. He also spent several years playing in the North American leagues with a variety of teams.
Grant was notified of his induction last weekend. Click here to continue reading at stuff.co.nz
Editor’s note: I first saw Marty Grant pitch at the 1989 ISC World Tournament in Kimberly Wisconsin, my first World Tournament as a player. He was a youngster then, having just arrived from New Zealand and pitching for one of the local favorites, All Car of Wisconsin. Marty had not only great talent but great poise to go with it, even at a young age. Our congratulations to Marty on the honor from softball New Zealand, well deserved.