ABOUT WAVERLEY BASEBALL

  
Mail to: P.O. Box 910, Glen Waverley Vic. 3150
  

Waverley Baseball Club Inc.

Reg. No. A0001474L A.B.N. 96 950 204 139

Waverley Reds Incorporated

Reg. No. A0042501T A.B.N. 61 426 202 097

  
STATEMENT OF PURPOSES

"The purposes of the Waverley Baseball Club are to foster the game of baseball within the 
City of Monash and surrounding districts and to participate in baseball competition."

  

  

BRIEFLY ABOUT THE GAME OF BASEBALL   

Like all baseball clubs and devotees of the game, the Waverley Baseball Club firmly believes that baseball is a truly magnificent sport for young players and older players alike. It is a game that provides a unique blend of skills, athleticism, fitness, concentration and discipline within a team environment.  

There is plenty of reason to believe that the personal development acquired by young baseballers from the disciplines of playing the game and the necessary dedication to training provides them with “lifetime skills” that will always remain with them. It is a game where players can derive many years of enjoyment from participation, while whole families are encouraged to become involved as umpires, scorers, helpers or administrators. Like many team sports, the lifelong friendships and family associations that result from the game and membership of a club are something to be cherished.

At any level the game of baseball can be played with a serious competitive spirit but the simple pleasures of playing the game and enjoying the participation usually transcend the importance of winning and losing.  

Baseball is a truly fantastic game for children, generally played in the fresh air of the outdoors and in the summer sunshine. The game is not without some elements of physical danger but these are minimised by mandatory use of protective equipment, while the game itself does not promote physical contact between players at the junior level.  

Baseball is a game that uniquely offers the opportunity for EVERY competitor to be constantly involved in the game both in batting and fielding, if not also in pitching. Unlike some other games where players can be “starved” of action for long periods, baseball offers its players the chance to remain involved in the action throughout the game. 

When they progress through to senior baseball ranks it is an often repeated part of baseball folklore that the game allows adults to “relive the fun of their childhood” by playing the game of baseball.

  

  

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WAVERLEY BASEBALL CLUB   

To read a brief chronology and history of the Waverley Baseball Club, click here.

  

  

BASEBALL THE ‘WAVERLEY WAY’    

Waverley Baseball Club has always fostered the fundamental ideals of baseball and these are taught religiously to players that join the club from the youngest ages. Such simple things as punctuality, pride in appearance (the uniform), respect for coaches and teammates and sportsmanship are all important elements of the ‘Waverley way’ to develop young people into good players and decent citizens.  

These fundamentals have been instituted at Waverley Baseball Club since its inception in 1959 and they have been nurtured and refined by the dedication of our coaches perhaps most notably during the “Dick Mason era”. These principles have been passed on by subsequent club directors and a succession of long-serving coaches like our modern junior coaching mentor David Warren who now promotes the important principles for our coaches of the future. There is a legacy of good player management, good coaching and solid fundamentals at Waverley Baseball Club that will always be jealously guarded. 

Let there be no mistake about this, the Waverley Baseball Club loves success... but we will not sacrifice our fundamental principles of player development to achieve it! 

Furthermore, many of the principles that are commonplace in Australian baseball with respect to the “protection and nurturing” of young players originated at the Waverley Baseball Club and this is an indication of our dedication to the future of the game. Such things as restricting pitch counts, restricting young pitchers from throwing curve balls and the rotation of players in fielding positions are all fundamentals of our junior player management at Waverley Baseball Club and most of these are now copied elsewhere. 

Waverley Baseball Club thrives on the loyalty of the players and families that have made the club so great over many years. We want all of our young players to enjoy playing their baseball at Waverley throughout their careers and we want to enable them to progress as far as their talents can take them. 

While we do take great pride in the success of our teams, we take equal pride from the number of players we have developed that have moved on from the club to bigger things and from the number of people that remain involved with the club many years beyond their direct family involvement with players. 

The Waverley Baseball Club firmly believes that baseball is a game that must be enjoyed by participation and it is for this reason that we stick by our slogan “Where EVERYONE Comes To Play”.   

  

  

WAVERLEY BASEBALL CLUB “PARTNERS”    

The Waverley Baseball Club is proud to boast playing grounds and facilities that are the best in Victoria and would be the envy of many “local league” sporting clubs around the world. Our “complex” comprises four major baseball diamonds, with the capability of being configured to play up to eight tee-ball games simultaneously. We have a “spanking new” clubhouse that is the envy of Victorian baseball, junior clubrooms, batting cages and a host of baseball equipment. 

The complex is situated at Napier Park, Glen Waverley (Melway 71J2), in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, on the south side of High Street Road, with our main entrance approximately 200m west of the Dandenong Creek bridge. To see where we are located and to view our facilities, click here

Although we rely heavily on parents and volunteers to help set-out and maintain our baseball diamonds on game days, the Waverley Baseball Club certainly appreciates its “partnering” relationship with the City of Monash who provide us tremendous support, both in terms of development of the site and in the regular maintenance of our grounds, including mowing.  

It goes without saying that we also rely heavily upon our several loyal sponsors each year for providing the necessary funding for development and improvement of the club in many areas. 

Of course, the Waverley Baseball Club is a proud member of the Victorian Baseball Association (VBA) and we respect their efforts to manage and progress the sport of baseball in this state. We at Waverley have an acute understanding of our own responsibility to contribute to the overall good of baseball in Victoria and Australia, not only to focus on the things that may benefit Waverley baseball.  

  

  

WAVERLEY BASEBALL - JUNIOR DOMESTIC PROGRAM    

Another of the superb initiatives developed by the Waverley Baseball Club many years ago, but since copied by a few clubs, is our still quite unique Junior Domestic Program. In short, our junior domestic program is a “league within the club” or an “intra-club junior baseball league”. 

At every age level from U8 tee-ball to U18, the Waverley Baseball Club has for many years conducted its own internal “league” with teams selected from the number of players who register to play at each age level. Of course, the number of teams at each level can vary from year to year depending upon the number of available players, but we have been lucky enough to generally have at least four teams at each age level up to U16. 

Certainly Waverley has had the “luxury” of selecting our representative players from these domestic leagues over the years and, no doubt, the depth of players to choose from has contributed to our success at junior level in VBA competition, but there is much more to these domestic leagues than simply providing a “feeder” to our representative teams. 

With strict direction from the Waverley board and its experienced junior coaches, the Junior Domestic Program at Waverley has maintained a fundamental set of principles that ensure enjoyment and participation for players of all standards, as a priority far more important than individual or team success.  

While our domestic leagues do allow for elite players to practice and enhance their skills, these players are not allowed to dominate play to the extent that inexperienced players cannot enjoy the game. Our domestic teams are deliberately selected so that the playing talents are as evenly spread among the teams as possible and in a way that maximises the participation of ALL players. 

Obviously, there will always be an element of competitiveness among the teams and players in our domestic leagues and this is not an entirely unhealthy thing, while our coaches are required to ensure that this does not escalate to a point where it can detract from the enjoyment of ALL players. 

Whatever their standard of skill, the Junior players at Waverley Baseball Club love to play in our domestic leagues and these well managed games simply enhance the mateship among players at the club while teaching them the important fundamentals of sportsmanship. Players who have participated in our domestic leagues can take just as much pleasure and just as many fond memories from the game as some would from their representative competition. 

In order to make sure that our most talented players contribute to the development of new and/or inexperienced players we have always maintained that it is mandatory for all of our representative players to continue their participation in our domestic leagues, including domestic training sessions. We insist that out representative players realise the privilege that comes with representing Waverley Baseball Club and that they must understand their responsibility to “give something back” to the club.  

  

  

WAVERLEY JUNIOR REPRESENTATIVE TEAMS    

It didn’t take too long from the inception of the Waverley Baseball Club for our junior program to start producing representative teams that were highly competitive in VBA junior competition. While we would never seek to sound arrogant, there have been significant periods since that Waverley has dominated junior baseball competition in Victoria and we could rightly claim to be the most successful junior club in VBA history. 

The fundamental principles of Waverley baseball previously mentioned are exemplified in the coaching of our representative teams where the club demands the highest standards of behaviour and sportsmanship from its players as “ambassadors” of the Waverley Baseball Club. In many ways, we believe that Waverley sets the standards for the professionalism of junior baseball and we take pride in the standards that we have maintained over many years.  

While we cannot always ensure the success of our teams, we can make sure that they exhibit all of the important fundamentals of punctuality, behaviour, appearance and sportsmanship that we insist upon as part of the club’s “culture”. We stress upon our players what a privilege it is to wear the red shirts of the Waverley Baseball Club and the responsibilities that go with it to maintain the standards set by previous generations of great Waverley junior teams. 

Over the years, Waverley has always strived to select two “representative teams” from each age level to compete in the Victorian Baseball League competitions. Our No.1 team at each age level is named the Waverley Wildcats, while our No.2 teams have been named Waverley Panthers (for U12 and U14) and Waverley Cougars (for U16 and U18) competition.  

While some clubs may have struggled at different times or at different age levels, it has always been taken as a “given” that the Waverley Wildcats teams would compete in the top (State League) competition, while our Panthers and Cougars have also been very competitive teams over the years. In past years it has not been unusual for Waverley to have both of its teams competing at the highest level, although this has not been preferred by the VBA in recent years and our No.2 teams have generally competed at the second tier of VBA competition regardless of their individual team strength. 

Not surprisingly, the Waverley Baseball Club has also produced very many Victorian State players over the years and many of those have gone on to senior national and international baseball competition. The Waverley junior program has been an outstanding nursery for nurturing baseball talent and we have plenty of reason to believe that we offer young players the best possible chance of a successful baseball future, including the opportunities for college scholarships in the USA.

Once again, the Waverley Baseball Club is proud of the achievements of our Junior representative teams and we are determined to maintain our sustained level of team success at each age group. In order to maintain this success we fully realise the need to sustain our domestic program in the face of dwindling numbers over recent years, along with maintaining our succession of coaching excellence by developing our future generations of coaches. We are acutely aware that player participation levels are a serious concern for many sports in Australia so we will need to be innovative in marketing the benefits of playing junior baseball at Waverley, while building upon the things we already do very well.  

  

  

SENIOR BASEBALL AT WAVERLEY    

As an intended flow-on from our successful junior program, the Waverley Baseball Club also has a major focus on our teams and players who progress on to senior competition. Not surprisingly, following the supply of talented players through our juniors, Waverley has also been a mightily successful club at senior level in Victorian baseball over many decades. 

With the number of junior players we have developed it has been usual for Waverley to supply senior grade teams from 1st Division, Seconds, Thirds, Fourths and Fifths and we have been proud of the performance of all of those teams throughout the years. Although there is an inevitable focus on our First Division team, Waverley has always been keen to ensure that all of our teams receive the proper degree of interest and support from the club. We proudly support ALL of our players at Waverley regardless of what level they may be playing at any given time. 

In line with our strict policies for nurturing junior players, the Waverley Baseball Club also maintains strict policies for our senior baseball program. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the Waverley Baseball Club has never actively sought to “entice or recruit” players from other clubs to the detriment of the progression of our junior players and we have always tried to maintain a structure that encourages the progression of junior players through our senior ranks. Although we have had some great, long-serving players in our senior teams they have always earned their selection strictly on performance and we do not tolerate an environment where players might “block the path” of emerging players purely because of longevity or misplaced loyalty. 

Participating in a “basically amateur” competition, the Waverley Baseball Club has a firm policy that it will not “pay” players to play at Waverley, other that offering some remuneration for those who may be assisting in a coaching capacity. We also maintain strict regulations about the participation of players at training sessions etc. as a prerequisite for team selection. Over the years these policies have deprived Waverley of the services of numerous players who were either unwilling or unable to play under these conditions, however, the club has steadfastly maintained its traditions. The Waverley Baseball Club bears no animosity towards players who have left the club to play with rival teams and we would always welcome their return to Waverley in future years.

One more time... the Waverley Baseball Club loves success at every level, but perhaps most significantly for the status of the club we always strive to win the Division One Premiership. Over the years Waverley has been very successful at all senior levels and, while we have not tasted Division One success for one of the longest periods in the club history, we are confident that another successful era is just around the corner. One thing that is certain is that the Waverley Baseball Club will continue to strive for excellence in every way it can, using the foundation of the club’s traditions as the backbone for success!  

  

  

THE SOCIAL SIDE OF WAVERLEY BASEBALL    

Not unlike many sporting clubs, the Waverley Baseball Club has always maintained a healthy social side to its activities where the festive after-match BBQ was an essential part of Sunday evenings, along with many other regular social activities enjoyed by the members and supporters of the club. 

With the advent of the new social clubrooms, perhaps more than ever the Waverley Baseball Club offers a unique environment for club members and spectators to enjoy the social side of baseball at Waverley and we will endeavour to build upon these opportunities in the future. Baseball is a great game to play, but it is also great spectator entertainment at the highest level for a few hours on a balmy summer afternoon. There is a very low cost opportunity for people in the Waverley and surrounding areas to enjoy a great team sport in a friendly and pleasant “family” atmosphere, while also enjoying first class facilities. 

In time, it is intended that the social side of Waverley baseball will be enhanced and expanded by greater utilisation of the clubrooms with year round functions and other activities. There is also the opportunity for our members to make use of the facilities for private functions under the strict control of the club. Such social activity not only provides valuable revenue for the Waverley Baseball Club, but it also helps to maintain the spirit, morale and fabric of the club itself.  

Once more, the Waverley Baseball Club is proud of its traditions to “play hard” and give no quarter on the baseball diamond, but we are equally proud of our ability to separate the heat of competition from the need to be a part of Victoria’s broader “baseball community”. As much as we enjoy the social participation of our own members and supporters, we will always provide a warm welcome for opposition players and supporters to join our after-match festivities and to share our facilities.

  

  

WAVERLEY REDS & NATIONAL LEAGUE    

Many people in Melbourne and around Australia will inevitably “link” the Waverley Baseball Club with the better known name of Waverley REDS who were foundation members of the now defunct Australian Baseball League, later to be known as the Melbourne Reds. The Waverley / Melbourne Reds were the inaugural Champions of the Australian Baseball League and the only three-time Championship winners in the ten year history of the competition. 

In fact, this is not irrelevant because it was the Waverley Baseball Club who initiated, financed and created the Waverley Reds team when the new National League was formed. Typically, it also supplied the vast majority of players for the team, especially in the early years. Australian Baseball League greats like Phil Dale, David Clarkson, Matthew Sheldon-Collins, Simon Sheldon-Collins, Richard Sisson, Adam Burton, Glenn Reeves and several others were all products of the Waverley Baseball Club. 

At our 2002 Annual General Meeting, club president Lloyd Reeman proudly announced that the Waverley Baseball Club had again secured rights to the trading name “Waverley Reds” and, while there is no intention to change the traditional name of the Waverley Baseball Club, the name Reds will soon reappear as part of the future “marketing” of the Waverley Baseball Club. 

The Waverley Baseball Club was honoured to host a game of the Claxton Shield competition in February 2002 with outstanding success and we hope that this may be the forerunner of our involvement with any national baseball competitions in the future.