Neil Gallinger was one of the this area's elite fastball pitchers during the 1960's, when the sport was peaking in both popularity and player quality. The city and area had several high-calibre softball leagues, and every weekend, there was a ball tournament being held in one of the towns or villages in the vicinity. It was common for players to play on several teams, and Neil Gallinger was a pitcher any team would welcome.
He honed his pitching skills in Newington, playing for coach Dutch Thompson in the North Stormont Fastball League. At the time, he also began throwing for the Howard Smith Papermen in the Industrial Softball League in Cornwall.
In the 1966 season for Howard Smith, Neil started off the season with a no-hitter.
In 1967, Neil's pitching arm led the Papermen to the Industrial League pennant and championship. The following year, the Domtar Papermen moved to the North End Fastball League in Cornwall, and again claimed the pennant, with Neil throwing a no-hitter against Courtaulds along the way.
1969 saw success in both league and tournament play. Neil led Domtar to victory in the Massena Fastball Tournament, and second place finishes in Ogdensburg and Moose Creek. At the same time, he was voted to the All-Star team that would represent the North End Fastball League in the Williamsburg tournament. That same year, Neil's Newington team won 17 of 20 games en route to the North Stormont Fastball Championship.
1970 started off on a high note, with a 16 strike-out no-hitter in his first game, and MVP honours for the first week of the season. '71 brought another North End championship for Domtar. After a few years away from ball, Neil returned to play several years in the Cornwall Sportsmen's League, where in 1980, he had a perfect game in a tournament against league rivals Kastners.
Although best known for his pitching, one of his proudest accomplishments came in hockey. In a very good Domtar Interdepartmental League, he finished third in league scoring, and was named the winner of the Bert Bourgon Memorial Trophy as the player who best combined good play and sportsmanship.
Harry Weber presenting to Neil Gallinger