Gordie "The Old Scout" Heagle tribute page!
Calling hours and obituary for Gordie can be found at this link:
With great sadness I have learned that Gordie Heagle has passed away. They don't make them tougher than Gordie who has spent the past two years fighting for his life with various severe health problems.
Gordie ran TheOldScout.com website and reported on upper level softball for many years. He also sponsored and managed many upper level teams and loved the game as much as anyone I have ever met. Here is a link to the Long Haul Bombers fundraiser this past summer which includes a letter from Gordie's wife about some of his battles with failing health.
Please leave your Gordie stories here in the comments section or email them to me at email@example.com and I will post them here on the tribute page.
Below is a page that Gordie created on this website a number of years ago to tell a little bit more about himself.
Hi! I would like to introduce myself to the softball world, who haven't met me, or know me. My name is Gordie Heagle and I was born and raised in Phoenix, New York, and moved to the North Syracuse area in my freshman year. I attended North Syracuse High School, and played football, basketball, baseball and also played hockey. I have been married 38 years to my wonderful wife Joan, my childhood sweetheart. We have three daughters Colleen, Kathleen and Maureen and nine grandchildren one of which is Taylor Gordon Sheridan, our angel, who we lost to a 2 year battle to childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma at 2 1/2 years old. My oldest, daughter Colleen is married Jeff Wallace. Jeff has been in our family since he was 16 years old living next door to us for a few years and I watched him play baseball in high school. He was a very talented player.
After high school, I played semi-pro baseball in the old N.Y. State League I then formed my own team in 1964 and ran that for two years. In 1966, I took some of the players that played for me on my baseball team and started playing softball in the local leagues. That's when my love for the game started to grow. I continued to play softball through my life, right up to today where I play in a senior softball league in Daytona Beach, Florida, where I reside in the winter months. As well as playing the game, I also had interest in umpiring from time to time. In 1984, I purchased a night club facility with 15 acres of land, where we built two softball fields. We ran weekly leagues and many weekend tournaments. I brought in many entertainers over the years such as, Rick Nelson, Dell Shannon, The Belmont's, Bo Didely and had one Major outside concert on the ball fields with Ray Charles and Martha Reeves and the Vandela's. I also promoted and put on professional wrestling at our facility and also other places.
In 1987 to 1990, I put together one of the best softball teams, that ever came out of the Central New York area. The name of the team was called A.F. Pristera's out of Utica, New York. I used six players from the Syracuse area which included, Jeff Wallace , his brother David Wallace and six players from the Utica area. We did not play any NIT Tournaments we just played in money tournaments every weekend. This team in a three year span played forty-eight tournaments and won forty-six of them earning over $40,000.00 in prize money. After disbanding this team I put together a Class A team and got a Louisville Slugger bat contract and began to play all over the country in Major A, AA tournaments. We played for two years with my goal being to expose Jeff Wallace around the country to other teams. You can see it paid off for Jeff as he was picked up by PACE out of Rochester, New York a very good AA team. Jeff was able to go to two USSSA World Series, the rest is history. I also watched Brett Helmer over the years playing against him in local tournaments I made a big mistake myself by not picking Brett up. Take a look where Brett Helmer is today.
Here's a little story about my own personal life. I worked twenty years at the Nine Mile Plant II Nuclear Power Plant, in Oswego, New York and retired in 1984. I spent eight years as an on-ice official in professional hockey. I worked in the old Eastern Pro-League and also worked some American Hockey League games, did some NHL exhibition games and had the privilege to work in 1974 the Russian Hockey Team that played in Syracuse, New York in an exhibition game. One of my biggest thrills was working a game with Montreal Canadian Toronto Maple Leaf's old timers hockey leagues. Another thrill was attending the AHL training camp for the officials in being instructed by one of the games great legends Boston Bruin's defenseman Eddie Shore. Probably the greatest thrill for me in hockey was doing a clinic with the greatest of them all, Detroit Red Wing Gordie Howe. I've always been an avid sport fan enjoyed attending all sporting events. Over the years I have attended twelve Baseball World Series, eleven Super Bowls, fifteen Stanley Cup Playoff Finals, two Heavy Weight Champion Fights and the Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Durand fight in Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Video tribute to Gordie
Just wanted to let you all know that at 9:40pm tonight we lost Gordie "The Old Scout" Heagle. Gordie has been battling a long list of ailments over the last couple years and finally lost the fight tonight. I would like to say a final thank you to Gordie for all the years he put into our sport as a player, sponsor, writer, etc. Rest in Peace Gordie
RIP Gordie , your passion for the game will be remembered.
Our prayers to Gordies family. Thank you for all that you gave to the game. You and Jerome are probably already arguing about stadiums or home run rules or something.
Gordie truly loved the game. He never mind saying what was on his mind and didn't mine string up things but that why we loved and respected him for. My thoughts and prayers go with him and his family. R.I.P. GORDIE you will be truly missed.
Well said Brett !! He truly loved the game. Thoughts and prayers going out to all of Gordie's family. R.I.P. Old Scout !!!!
Rest in peace gordie you were a great man who believed in me from day one. You did so much good for the game it will never be forgotten. God needed the old scout upstairs. thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
Got to meet Gordie in 03 in Sioux City, IA playing in the Rhonda's Classic. Was a great person to sit and talk to about the game of softball. A great person in the game of softball. He will be missed.
Had a lot of good times over the past 25 years or so disagreeimg with gordie all in fun. We used to see who could eat the most coneys at the Smokys. You will be missed old scout. Rip prayers to the family
My thoughts and prayers go out to Gordie's family.
Rest in peace.
Always pulling for the guys from the Northeast. May you rest in peace Gordie !!
RIP Gordie. Prayers for his family. The man needs to be in the USSSA HOF if he is not there already!!!
I second that no doubt he should be inducted in the HOF. A great contributor to the game for a very long time. He will be missed. May he rest in peace prayers for his family.
It sad to hear that Gordie passed away… But it sounds like he lived a great life… Sorry for his families loss…
Gordie was a great man. I always enjoyed talking to him at all the tournies. He will be missed.
Gordie was one of the best men around. Kind hearted good spirited man who absolutely loved the game of softball. Heaven just got another " Angel" to look over us all. His spirit will live with us forever. Gordie we miss you buddy. God bless you my friend!!!
Sorry to hear of Gordie's passing. He was a good ambassador for the game of slow pitch and will be missed.
Worth Advisory Staff
Shooting Star Basketball
Gordie loved the game of softball with a deep passion and although I didn't get to spend a lot of time with him because of his failing health back in 2008 and 2009, I do remember a few long chats about softball and how to report on the game. He told me I needed to be more controversial and aggressive as a reporter. The last time I talked to Gordie was the 2009 Conference Championships shortly before a car accident on his return trip home hurt him and began his long struggle with the severe health issues he would have.
I decided to "google" Gordies name and see what was on the internet about him and found this, from his hockey reffing days:
Blades defenseman Blaine Rydman was mixing it up with Doug Ferguson of Syracuse in the corner when linesman Gordie Heagle interceded. Heagle lived in Syracuse and was the prototypical hometown referee.
"Heagle has a unique way of breaking up fights," Register reporter Paul Marslano had written earlier in the week. "He yanks the leg of the Blade involved in the brawl until he falls down with the Syracuse player winding up on top."
This time Heagle went the extra yard. Locked in the scrum, he casually fired a fist into Rydman's face.
Blades goalie Jim Armstrong saw it and pounced to protect his teammate. He yanked Heagle to the ice, sat on his chest and wrapped his hands around the linesman's neck. Kennedy captured the moment, a photo more astonishing than any scene in "Slap Shot," the classic hockey movie filmed years later at the very same arena.
Marslano, in his next-day account, wrote that Armstrong punched Heagle. Recounting the incident seven years later, Armstrong said he never struck the linesman.
"I didn't intend to get so involved. But when I saw the linesman punching Rydman it left me no choice," said Armstrong, later the hockey coach at Quinnipiac who died at age 68 in January. "I never actually hit him, although in some of the pictures it looked as if I did. When I grabbed him he said, ‘Don't hit me,' so I just wrestled him to the ice and held him there.
True Gordie, tough til the end
DW, I remember back in 1998 or so when Jerome Earnest got sick. He used to call me a lot and loved to talk abou thsi life in softball and told me many stories. He was a walking encyclopedia. It was a sad day when he passed away as so many people knew him and enjoyed him.
Jerome used to attend many tournaments with a good friend of his, a man named Gordie Heagle and when Jerome was gone, it was Gordie "The Old Scout" Heagle who picked up the pieces and continued on promoting and providing us all with softball news and information. I used to have a lot of nice talks with Gordie also.
These were two kind and good people who shared a passion for this sport like no other. They said and wrote the way they saw it, whether USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, or whatever association it was, they respected all of them and the people involved with them. I have always had and will always have the ultimate respect for these two guys.