Passing of Joseph (Seph) Porteous
Softball New Zealand is sad to announce the passing of another Softball legend. Joseph (Seph) Porteous died peacefully in his home in Huntly on May 4th 2013. He was 87.
Seph was a long time player and administrator and a huge fan of the game for many years. When the Eden club was formed he was there, eager to learn the game he knew through his deep interest in baseball. Eden’s success mirrored his and in 1948 he was named in the North Island team a feat he repeated in the 1958 season when he was playing for Waikato.
He played for Auckland in many successful teams and had a National Title with Eden but in the interest of spreading the competition in Auckland he, together with Don Brewer, moved to form the Bear’s Club even though that initially meant playing in the Major B competition. Seph and Don became the first Major B players to represent Auckland.
As well as playing an excellent game at first base, Seph was also an expert pitcher, studying the batters and using his variation of speed and height to confuse them. He was also a prodigious home run hitter with many stories of balls hit beyond park boundaries in the days when home run fences were not used.
When he became the AA agent in Huntly, Seph worked tirelessly developing the Huntly Club and also worked with the Waikato Association. He represented Waikato in the days when it was a strong force in National Competitions and played over 250 Rep games for the province.
His influence in Waikato was immense and he is recognised as not only a Life Member of the Waikato Association but also a Legend of Auckland Softball and holds a Distinguished Service Award for New Zealand.
After his playing career was over (at a very late age) he continued in an administrative capacity for Huntly, Waikato and was also a New Zealand Softball Councillor for many years using his knowledge as an Accountant and businessman. He was also a successful coach and had the luxury of coaching one of the strongest Waikato teams upon the arrival of Kevin Herlihy in the mid 1970’s.
He also coached and guided both of his sons Andrew and Mark who became Rep Players as well for both Waikato and North Harbour. Mark continues his legacy in the game and is now an International Qualified Softball umpire.
Seph will be sadly missed by many in the softball fraternity but joins his old team mates on the diamond in the sky.
He is survived by his wife Irene and four children.
The funeral of Seph Porteous will be held at St Anthony’s Catholic Church, Main Road, Huntly at 11am on Friday the 10th of May 2013.