Baseball gears up for the new season

By David Searle

President of Baseball Tasmania

 

WITH just more than two months until the 2017/18 Hobart Summer Baseball League (HSBL) resumes, the off-season has been anything but quiet.

In mid-March, two teams (an over-35 side and an over-50 side) again represented Tasmanian baseball at the annual Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival in Ballarat.

The carnival saw the debut of Chris Morrison and James Wolfe (Eastern Athletics) and Stuart Robins (Banjos Orioles Orange) in the over-35s.

Both teams were competitive in their games, but unfortunately were unable to make the Grand Final of their respective divisions.

A fun weekend was had by all, particularly by Andrew “Sully” Sullivan who was interviewed by the local television station for their evening sports report.

On 1 April, Baseball Tasmania held its annual Presentation Night Dinner at the Duke Hotel.

Andrew “Sully” Sullivan (Eastern Athletics) won the prestigious Jamie McIntyre Player of the Season award.

Other major winners included:

  • Batting champion: Andrew “Sully” Sullivan (average 0.630).
  • Rookie of the Year: Brad Mabb (Banjos Orioles Orange).
  • Pitcher of the Year: Tim Holland (Dragons).
  • Raine & Horne Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Fenton (Banjos Orioles Black).
  • Tassie Tigers Masters over-50 batting champions: Steve Millington (Hotel Soho Hobart Blue Jays) and Stuart Smith (Raiders).
  • Tassie Tigers Masters over-35 batting champion: Richie Law (Northern White Sox).
  • Tassie Tigers Masters MVP: Stuart Smith (Raiders).

Special awards of recognition for service to the league were noted for Gene Wheeler (umpire) and Rod Saxby (Banjos Orioles Black).

The hard work of secretary Terese Millhouse on the Community Infrastructure Grant application was rewarded in early May when the league was successful in obtaining a grant to improve baseball infrastructure at the Prince of Wales Bay Recreation Ground.

Baseball Tasmania’s AGM was also held on 15 May and the following members were elected to the executive committee:

  • President – David Searle.
  • Senior vice president – Chris Chalker.
  • Vice presidents – Steve Harris and Aaron Jarvis.
  • Secretary – Gene Wheeler.
  • Treasurer – Peter Hubble.

As part of Baseball Tasmania’s ongoing aim to make baseball available to people from all backgrounds, HSBL were successful in becoming a member of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania.

The Raine & Horne HSBL has come along in leaps and bounds during the past few seasons, with a substantial increase in members, more women participating, a strategic plan for the future and, last season, we had our youngest member (14-years-old) in a number of years.

Batter Up T-ball – the joint venture with Southern Softball – continues to grow with games and activities for ages four to 13-years held on Saturday mornings.

Further information on this league can be found on the website at http://www.batteruptball.com.au/ or by phoning Nigel on 0416 784 297.

While we are still looking to expand each of the above, we are also looking for new players between the ages of 13 and 17-years to form a junior league.

Baseball is a game that not only offers exercise, but also a supportive team environment, lots of tactics and that sense of unknown, as a game can turn on any circumstance.

But with baseball and softball reintroduced to the Olympics in 2020, who knows what could happen.

For further information on the Raine & Horne Hobart Summer Baseball League, phone 0468 927 363, visit the website at www.baseballtasmania.com/ or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HSBLTAS.

Caption: The Raine & Horne Hobart Summer Baseball League over-35 team with major sponsor of the Tassie Tigers Masters’ teams Matt Haymes, of Haymes Paints Ballarat.