Phillips was the first New Zealander to play, umpire and administer softball
He represented New
Zealand at the inaugural world championships in Mexico in 1966, finishing third
behind the United States and Mexico, and again in Oklahoma in 1968 where he placed
Those two Kiwi softball
teams were the pioneers for New Zealand sides, that are now the most successful
in the world with seven world titles.
Although a class
pitcher for the Whanganui representative team, Charlie gained international
honours as a shortstop and third baseman. He was a very alert infielder with
quick reflexes and a powerful arm, as well as being a strong batter.
foundation member of the Braves Softball Club, was an all-round sportsman, also
representing Whanganui in soccer (a top-class goalkeeper), badminton, squash
and table tennis.
He was New Zealand
Softball Umpire in Chief for 13 years (1983-1996), officiating at world
championships, and deputy chief umpire at world women’s and junior tournaments.
In 1997 he was inducted
into the New Zealand Softball Hall of Fame, and in 1999 into the International
Softball Federation Hall of Fame.
His international citation
recognised Charlie’s contribution and dedication to the development and growth
of world softball, in particular umpiring, and mentions his experience in all
facets of the sport – playing, umpiring and administrating over a 30-year span.
He was also the
South Pacific Regional Umpire in Chief, which included assisting with the
standardising of international umpire training programmes.
has a major legacy in New Zealand softball – he is credited with introducing popular
T-Ball into this country after witnessing its popularity on an overseas trip.
The Phillips family
was heavily involved in Whanganui softball: Charlie’s father, Fred, as an
umpire, mother Alice a scorer, brother Bill played for New Zealand in the
outfield, and sister Margaret represented Whanganui.