A Look Back In Time At Pitcher Hayden Smith

Written by Bob on January 4th, 2015
Hayden Smith won six games in leading Denmark, Wisc. Circle Tap to 7th place in the 1996 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

Hayden Smith won six games in leading Denmark, Wisc. Circle Tap to 7th place in the 1996 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

KIMBERLY, WISC. – In 1996, New Zealand pitcher Hayden Smith turned in the top pitching performance in the ISC World Tournament in Kimberly, Wisc.

Pitching for Circle Tap of Denmark, Wisc., Smith led all pitchers with six wins and finished 6-2 overall. His workhorse 52 1/3 innings bested Toronto Gators’ Darren Zack’s 41. He struck out 68 batters, also No. 1, with Joe Basaraba of Whitewood First Nation close behind with 62.

And after the 10-day tournament –featuring 48 of North America’s top teams – was over, Smith had led Circle Tap to a seventh place finish in the double-elimination format.

For his lion-hearted efforts, Smith was selected to the First Team, All-World pitching staff, joining Todd Martin (Tampa Bay Smokers) and Michael White (Green Bay All-Car). Martin, 4-0, was also selected the Most Outstanding Pitcher for leading the Smokers (6-0) to the championship.

But no one pitched the ball any better than the right-handed Smith.

He opened by beating Ashland, Ohio Abbott Labs 1-0 on a three hitter. Then after losing to Zack and the Gators, 6-0, he stayed in the circle the rest of the tournament, winning five consecutive games before being knocked off by the Midland, Mich. Explorers, 3-0.

Sandwiched between the two losses, Smith beat the following teams:

  • 1-0 over Page Brake and Neal Chadwick on a no-hitter.
  • 3-2 over the Sioux Falls Chief, edging out Rick Lang for the win.
  • 4-0 over the Long Beach A.I.S. Painters on a four-hitter, besting the Painters Glen “Rocket” Davis.
  • 3-1 over the Bloomington, Ill. Hearts, and fellow Kiwi Shane Doherty.
  • 3-2 over the Waterloo Twins on a four-hitter, and getting a big boost from Terry Downs home run.
  • At this particular tournament, at this particular time, no one was any better than Hayden Smith.

    5 Comments so far ↓

    1. Hayden Smith says:

      Thankyou very much Bob for this write up. As we all know, there are times in life when everything was going as planed and you wished that day or week would never end… but it does and thats the way it is. That week in Wisconsin is a week i will never forget and i am very greatfull and proud of my teammates for the amazing effort they put in to make this happen. This article you have written makes me and my family very proud and i thank you again. :-)#

    2. Bob says:

      Hello Hayden, I remember that incredible run CT and you put on after losing to the Gators. It ranks up there with some of the greatest efforts in the sport that I’ve ever witnessed. Congratulations on a great career. Wishing you and your family the very best.

    3. terry downes says:

      Heater!!
      What a privilege it was for me to be your team mate during that incredible tournament. You led the way for us with not only your extraordinary skill on the mound,but also with your great experience and passion for the game we love. You made me a better player and have left me with some of the greatest memories of my softball career. Congratulations mate, thank you!
      Terry Downes

    4. Alan Dowd says:

      I can really say that I’m one of the lucky few that has spent a lot of my softball career playing with and against Hayden as we first traveled to the States together when we were eighteen years young. The way Hayden excelled in this tournament does not surprise me as I have always considered Hayden as one of the most talented pitchers of our era. It’s about time that everyone knows how Talented you were Hayden as I have for 27 years my friend.

    5. Kingsley burley says:

      Smithy fastest sting to catch. Still going strong soo proud of you , remembering when you said to me all those years ago of your opportunity to go and play .. And your still going strong good on Ya mate . Kingsley

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