From Dave Blackburn:
It is with great sadness that I am sending the terrible News about Kevin Herlihy passing away at age 58 in a NZ Hospital. The New Zealand sports News is beginning to report on his life as one of the greatest NZ athletes of all time.
Kevin was my special guest at the March 2006 Hall of Fame Dinner and graced us with his presence from NZ, to pay tribute to his former teammate Greg Sepulveda, on speaker phone and PA System.
Anyone who ever saw him pitch knew that he was one of the greatest of all time.
With Sad Regards,
New Zealand Softball is mourning the loss of one of its greatest stars after pitching legend Kevin Herlihy died of a heart attack at Waikato Hospital on Wednesday evening.
Regarded as one of the best softball pitchers in the world during his international career which spanned three decades, Herlihy was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
The New Zealand pitcher was also inducted into the International Softball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Softball New Zealand Hall of fame in 1995.
Herlihy’s career was studded with representative honours and he was the captain of the New Zealand team when it won the world title in 1984.
He also won world championship gold in 1976 when New Zealand shared the title with USA and Canada and won gold again in 1996 as pitching coach with the title winning New Zealand team.
Following his stellar playing career, Herlihy was a selector with the New Zealand
men’s team during the early 1990’s, pitching coach with the Black Sox in
1996 and attended the 2000 Olympics with the White Sox.
Former Black Sox coach Mike Walsh remembers Herlihy as not only a great
softball player but also as a true friend.
“In 1984 when we won he was captain and all the guys in the team showed
immense respect for him,” said Walsh.
“I always remember after the final I took the match-ball and had all the guys sign it and I presented it to Kevin and all the guys in the team stood as one when I made the presentation.”
New Zealand Softball chief executive Dale Eagar was another to speak fondly of Herlihy.
“In terms of pitching ability, he was the best in world and he was acknowledged as such by all those who played against him,” said Eagar.
“As a man he was one of the funniest guys you could ever meet. He was a personality in his own right and a very talented sportsman.”
Herlihy leaves behind his wife Sandra and two children Michelle and Chris.