If you grew up playing softball in and around the Conception Bay North area you have heard the name Langdon Critch.
You’ve undoubtedly seen the Butlerville man making his way around the old ballfield on Playground Road in Bay Roberts.
The field has changed a bit since Langdon last played and coached.
A chain-link fence has replaced the forest green coloured wood of the original outfield wall. The same can be said about the dugouts.
They’ve turned from brick to chain-link.
Where a second ballfield was, the Community Gardens now stands.
“(Langdon) was always around the ballfield,” said Kevin Critch, his brother.
Langdon had an intense love for the game. Most evenings he would leave his Butlerville home and walk the 10 kilometre (6 miles) round trip to the field.
When he was not playing the game, he was coaching it.
“My brother loved the game, and he loved the children,” said Kevin.
Port de Grave MHA Glenn Littlejohn grew up watching him play and learned the game from Langdon.
But, it was not just the basics of softball he taught. Langdon taught life lessons.
He taught his players respect and fair play.
“At the end, (Langdon) taught us so much,” said Littlejohn.
When Langdon coached, everyone played. It was not about winning, it was about playing.
Often once the senior game was finished at the ballfield, a second game would be played. It is one that, perhaps, was more looked forward to than any other.
Score was 2-1, it was always in the second inning and the game did not stop until everyone had a chance at the plate.
“They don’t come along like him anymore,” said Littlejohn.
He treated all of his players like his own.
Langdon never married or had children, but he still had a family.
“The children were his family,” said Kevin. “He was a good man and a good brother.”
For the complete story, see the June 30 print edition of The Compass.