Hockey stick honours late Pumpkin King

Ashley Thompson
Published on January 6, 2013

Andrew Dill has developed a hockey stick that commemorates his father’s love of hockey and giant pumpkins. 

Ashley Thompson

Andrew Dill is hoping some proud Windsor natives are going to want to get their hands on a hockey stick he designed in honour of his late father.

The stick, dubbed the AG81 Howardzer, is a tribute to Howard Dill’s love of hockey and his success as an esteemed grower of giant pumpkins.

Dill says the AG stands for Howard Dill’s world-renowned Atlantic Giant pumpkin variety, and the 81 stems back to 1981 — the year his father set the world record for heaviest pumpkin with a 493.5-pound entry at an exhibition in Philadelphia.

“It was a proud moment,” he recalled.

Dill says his father’s record stood for four years, making seeds from the pumpkins he grew at the Dill’s College Road farm in Windsor sought after by growers around the world.

“Dad was unbeatable at that time. That really kick-started the seed business and the interest around the world for the seeds.”

Dill says his father’s world record was referred to as “the shot heard around the world” and the name Howardzer is a reference to the Howitzer cannon.

The intent of the stick, Dill says, is to remind people of Howard Dill’s lesser-known passion.

“Hockey was Dad’s first true love,” said Dill, who grew up with Long Pond, the Cradle of Hockey,in his backyard.

Dill is releasing the stick through his privately owned company, Need A Stick? Ltd. In previous years he has developed commemorative sticks for fallen RCMP officers, and sticks honouring Long Pond’s link to Windsor’s claim to fame as the Birthplace of Hockey.

“It’s not everyday that you have a hockey stick company form in your own backyard,” he said.

“I can offer a local, and affordable, product of the same quality for a better price.”

Youth sticks sell for $49.99; junior sticks go for $79.99; and senior sticks start at $129.99.

Dill says Terry “Taz” O’Reilly, who played for the Boston Bruins from 1971 to 1985, has said he’ll be trying the AG 81 Howardzer out when he visits Windsor for the second annual Long Pond Classic in February.

For more information, contact Andrew Dill at: