By Doug Kennedy
The two new people going on the Kincardine Sports Wall of Fame have spent their respective lives giving back to the Municipality of Kincardine.
Dave Dunlop grew up in Kincardine playing sports from a young age. Raising four kids with his wife Donna, Dunlop always found the time to be involved in coaching and mentoring kids. To say Dunlop gave back to his community is akin to saying Vladdy Guerrero Jr. has decent power.
Dunlop’s playing career came to an early end with a shoulder problem. One really funny thing he once told me was about being asked at a coaching clinic what to do with a left-handed catcher. The quick response was to move him to first base.
Dunlop was a left-handed catcher.
He is quick to acknowledge the people he looked up to while growing up and playing sports. Keith Davidson, Nute Catto and Harvey Ross were mentioned as being big influences on his decision to start coaching as a way to give back to his hometown. Davidson was the first person to ask him to help him with coaching, so Dunlop joined the long-time recreation director on the midget boys’ baseball team.
Dunlops’s love of baseball showed as he guided the KMBA squire team and then teamed with Dave Riggin to coach the local peewee team before moving up to the bantam level. By the time his minor baseball coaching career finished, he had coached most age groups in both boys and girls ball.
Then it was on to senior baseball, where he helped coach the Wiljacks. The name would eventually change to the Royals and in past years to the Cubs.
The success Dunlop had with the Cubs – which he began coaching in 2006 at the request of John Dupuis – is well-known among the area’s baseball community. With Dunlop in charge, the Cubs won Ontario championships at three different levels. I can’t imagine another coach has accomplished this in the Ontario Baseball Association. The Cubbies won the OBA C championship in 2013, then the B crown in 2014 and finally the A title in 2015.
For three summers, from 2005 to 2007, he coached junior baseball in Listowel, with his son Dane, Pat Beaton and Dave Robison making the frequent trips from Kincardine to Listowel.
I had the pleasure to work with the late Herman Young on a couple of committees, so I know first-hand his dedication to our municipality.
Young spent a lifetime volunteering for a number of organizations in the town of Kincardine. The World War II veteran, former Kincardine councillor, mayor and citizen of the year was one of the main organizers of the Young Canada Peewee baseball tournament held at that time over the Canada Day long weekend. It was the largest peewee tournament in Canada and Young was the tournament chairman for many years. His love of being around the diamond also inspired Young to spend a decade as a Western Ontario Athletic Association (WOAA) umpire, working baseball, softball and slo-pitch games.
He was the regional president of the Ontario Senior Games for many years. Young was a volunteer and the treasurer of the Kincardine Bulldogs for several years. Even after suffering a stroke, Young continued to be a presence at the Davidson Centre for Bulldogs games, getting a lift to the arena from Trevor Clark or yours truly.
Outside of sports volunteering, Young was a 45-year member of the Boy Scouts of Canada. He was a member of the Kincardine United Church choir for 31 years, and was also a proud member of the Merry Kin seniors club.
Honours received by Young during his illustrious life included the Legion Meritorious Medal and lifetime membership to the Royal Canadian Legion, the Golden Jubilee Medal presented by the Government of Canada and a Community Service Medal. Here at home, Young was honoured twice as the Kincardine citizen of the year, in 1984 and 1999.