Kingsley Collins (18 March 2019)
Another highly successful Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival was held at Prince of Wales Reserve, Ballarat, last weekend.
The weather was kind to us and we managed to negotiate 55 games of baseball over three days – a remarkable effort and one that is a credit to the staying power and patience of all players, scorers and umpires.
Given the availability of just three grounds, the early starts and the fifteen-minute breaks between games created a less than perfect scenario, though it all seemed to be managed in pretty good spirit.
Although it was an outstanding tournament overall, there were some administrative lessons to be taken from the event – including the number of teams (given the grounds available), the breaks between games, the scheduling into pools and an oversight that occurred as the draw was being finalised. Perhaps there are a couple of rules that require revamping or clarification.
If there is any input on those or other matters that interested parties would like to offer at this stage – or at any other time – please do not hesitate in letting us know.
I extend our thanks to all Team Managers, all scorers and all players for continuing to support this unique event.
Thank you to Umpiring Coordinator Greg Howard and his crew for proving us with their invaluable services.
Thank you to Ausport Superstore for its magnificent support and the great compassion that it showed in leading the appeal to support a baseball family afflicted by serious illness of their infant child. The Masters fraternity responded to that cause in its typically generous manner – with a fundraising effort that we know is very much appreciated by the Davidson family. Thank you.
UPDATE (19 March): Ausport raffles alone raised $ 900.00 over the weekend. There were also many generous contributions placed in the heavy, sealed donation tins that will be added when further fund-raising efforts are completed.
Congratulations to host club Ballarat Royals and to Alfredton Eagles for attending to their grounds before and during the tournament. With minimal rain over the past several months, it is a credit to the clubs that they were able to have the surfaces of Diamonds Two and Three in such good playing condition.
Thanks to Alfredton for again opening its clubrooms, for welcoming our guests and for assisting Ballarat Royals with drink sales – an absolute necessity over three warm days.
For its first project as a new entity, Ballarat Royals did a remarkable job with catering, facilities management, shade, cleanliness and grounds management. It appeared to have been a real team effort, with a large number of officials, playing members, family members and supporters all helping out during a very hectic and tiring weekend.
Well done to all who contributed in any way to helping make the Carnival another great success.
While details of the 2020 tournament have not yet been decided, the Carnival will most likely remain at three days and it will definitely be scheduled for mid-March – either 13-15 March or 20-22 March (that is, after Labour Day but prior to the end of Daylight Saving and the start of winter competition). Details will be emailed to managers and posted online as they become available.
Thank you, again, to all who played a role in delivering this truly uplifting Masters sporting event.
Daily summaries are provided below. A full bank of images is posted in our GALLERY. Please feel free to use images in any appropriate manner for promotion and betterment of Australian baseball.
Kingsley Collins (Administrator)
Kingsley Collins (17 March 2019)
The twenty-third Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival was wrapped up at Ballarat’s Prince of Wales Reserve in magnificent weather conditions this afternoon – with some of the usual suspects laying claim to the silverware after an arduous three days of competition between a record number of team entries across three age groupings.
Hats off to the winners....
And high fives all round....
Coburg (4-0 in the preliminary games) and Diggers (3-1) played off in a wonderful 50 Plus contest that displayed the very best in respectful, skilled and healthy competitiveness – with the Burgers emerging a one-run winner at the death. Sandringham (3-1) had a terrific tournament along with Tomatoes (2-2), while Doncaster (1 and 2, with a draw), Tassy Tigers (1 and 2, with a draw), Bees (1-3) and Sloths (0-4) rounded out another superb group in the senior division.
Tomatoes (4-0 in the preliminaries) were too strong for Cheltenham (3-1) in the 45 Plus final, although Pandas (4-0) were clearly disadvantaged under a scheduling anomaly, while Diggers (2-2) were well among the action along with Sloths (1 and 2, with a draw), first day hotshot Bendigo (1-3), Fitzroy (a draw and three losses) and Cods (0-4).
Perennial finalists over the past several years, Pandas (4-0) and Tomatoes (4-0) locked horns in the 35 Plus final, with Pandas nailing another hard-earned title after a quality pitching duel. New entries in Ballarat (3-1) and Bald Eagles (2-2) were worthy additions to this time-honoured event, Cods (3-1) were outstanding representatives of the northeast, while Rebels (2-2) played some quality ball along with Doncaster (1-3), Tassy Tigers (1-3), Red Sox (0-4) and Sloths (0-4).
All scores are shown to the right of this page, or by scrolling down on mobile view.
A more detailed report, with images, will be forthcoming during Monday. For now – while the winners warrant special recognition - we extend our congratulations to all participating teams and their supporters for helping make the Carnival another outstanding success notwithstanding the 45 Plus scheduling issue.
We thank Greg Howard and his band of umpires for their fine work, we extend our appreciation to all scorers and we acknowledge the magnificent effort of local baseball interests in helping deliver this event. Taking on its first serious challenge as an emerging new entity, Ballarat Royals did a terrific job as host club – with invaluable and much appreciated support from Alfredton Eagles.
Well done, all!
DAY TWO OVERVIEW
It was an early start at Prince of Wales on Day Two – one that blossomed into a beautiful autumn day that produced its share of free-scoring, tight contests and comebacks as another eighteen games were crammed into a hectic though fun-filled Saturday of Masters baseball (see all results to the right of this page).
Coburg’s two big wins in 50 Plus effectively assured the Burgers of a berth in the Sunday afternoon final, while Golddiggers came from behind in a thriller over Big Cat Tomatoes to lay its claim to another Carnival title. With a couple of fascinating contests still to be played out, we look forward to much spirited competition on the morrow.
50 Plus standings after Day Two:
GROUP A: Coburg (3-0), Sandringham (2-1), Sloths (0-3), Werribee (0-3)
GROUP B: Diggers (3-0), Tomatoes (2-1), Doncaster (1-2), Tassy Tigers (1-2)
A quirk of the 45 Plus draw will make it tough going for three of all four worthy sides in the 45 Plus competition, which sees Group A still wide open while historically well-performed outfits in Tomatoes, Pandas and Diggers will slug it out for a grand final berth – a spot that may be decided on head to head or even defensive runs.
45 Plus standings after Day Two:
GROUP A: Cheltenham (1-1), Sloths (1-2), Bendigo (1-2), Fitzroy (0-3)
GROUP B: Tomatoes (3-0), Pandas (3-0), Diggers (2-1), Cods (0-2)
As anticipated, Pandas and Tomatoes set the pace in their respective 35 Plus groups, although Cods have proved a real surprise packet with a couple of big wins and Ballarat has acquitted itself well enough at home, along with new entry in Bald Eagles – who will meet the local team for what should be a ripper game prior to the playoffs which start just before 5.00 PM.
35 Plus standings after Day Two:
GROUP A: Pandas (3-0), Cods (2-1), Rebels (1-1), Doncaster (1-2), Red Sox (0-3)
GROUP B: Tomatoes (3-0), Ballarat (2-1), Bald Eagles (1-1), Tassy Tigers (1-2), Sloths (0-3).
Because of the tightness of the Carnival schedule and all that has been happening over the weekend, a full report will not be posted until late Sunday or during Monday – along with a mass of photographic material that we have amassed during the first two days. Please be patient in that regard, and if you have images that you would like to contribute to our coverage, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org at your convenience.
Best wishes to all for a terrific Day Three!
Wot? Me give up catching?
DAY ONE SUMMARY.
While the morning of Opening Day was not quite what was promised to us by weather pundits, it turned into a sunny and very pleasant afternoon and evening of baseball – and the associated social activity – as our army of intrepid competitors conjured up nineteen completed games to swing the Carnival fully into action.
To celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary, Golddiggers set the pace in 50 Plus - along with other undefeated teams in the always combative Coburg and Big Cat Tomatoes - while Sandringham and Tassy Tigers both split their doubleheaders.
Reigning winner Pandas and Tomatoes both went two from two in 45 Plus, Bendigo is unbeaten after showing early morning form and Cheltenham hit the ball crisply and often to start its campaign in equally positive fashion.
There was serious early interest shown towards contenders in 35 Plus, where seven teams posted a win, including an ominous showing by Pandas and an equally convincing outing by new entry Bald Eagles – who just might be a chance of halting the ursine juggernaut, along with Ballarat, Tomatoes and Rebels who each showed winning form.
But it is early days just yet – well, early day, anyhow – and it will be fascinating to see how all outfits pull up on the morrow after the obligatory evening of catching up over a shandy or two.
A more complete report, with a bank of photos, will be posted on Saturday night – after what promises to be a massive day.
On a side note, most of our visitors will be aware of special efforts being conducted on-site in support of a long-standing, wonderful baseball family whose infant son is currently undergoing intensive treatment for Neuroblastoma Cancer. We thank Ausport Superstore sincerely for their generous support of this cause, along with the Geelong/Korea ABL team – whose representative Mick Alldis kindly supplied an unused bat donated by the club.
In encouraging Masters participants and supporters to support those special efforts, we invite you to make any further contribution to the fund with which you are comfortable.
Details of the disease and its effect on afflicted families are posted near the canteen.
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