ABOUT WAVERLEY BASEBALL
Baseball Club Inc.
Reg. No. A0001474L A.B.N. 96 950 204 139
purposes of the Waverley Baseball Club are to foster the game of baseball within
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.
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.
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.
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.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WAVERLEY BASEBALL CLUB
To read a brief chronology and history of the Waverley Baseball Club, click here.
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
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
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”.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.