12 October 2009 - as reported by The Torrs
A blustery and squally day greeted us at Blacktown Olympic Park (BOP) on Tuesday, 12 October 2009 for St Pats 4th round match against the Giants (North West Sydney) on BOP field 3. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the guys perform on the main stadium today.
Our older gentlemen showed their style, speed, skill and agility to just pip the Giants in the 4th dig by one run. Final score: 14 to 13 WIN!
The game was played in great spirit and it was obvious the guys relished the experience and the competition. This was their first win at the World Masters.
By Chris Faber
What do the names Bruce Anderson, Ian Atkinson, Peter Brown, Ian Collee, Ivan Connors, Chris Faber, Peter Faber, Brett Handley, Dusty Hughes, Frank Inglese, John Inglese, Steve Lethlean, Greg McGuire, Dave Powell, Ken O'Dowd, Gary O’Sullivan, Dennis Stapleton, Attila Szalay, Paul Thompson and Tony Vosnakis have in common? No it’s not the start of a joke. Though some thought Ivan was joking when he suggested this group, with the help of Meredith Sullivan, should represent St Pat’s Baseball Club in the World Masters Games (+45 competition) to be held in Sydney during October 2009. It turned out to be a serious proposition.
The list of member names is a mixture of easily recognised and less familiar names. Perhaps you can spot the Office Bearers (past and present), Life Members, current and past players, Old Boys and parents of students and players (past, present and future). Some conscripted baseball friends from local and remote competitions rounded out our squad.
Our objective was to live the theme of the Games “Fit, Fun and Forever Young", while representing our club, our city and our country in the company of friends on and off the diamond.
The campaign was to be 9 games with the reward of extra games if we survived the pool games. It promised to be gruelling and exhilarating, daunting and uplifting, challenging and rewarding at the same time. All the games would be held a long way away from the Shire, the Club’s spiritual home. Venues were Samuel Marsden Reserve Orchard Hills, Corbin Reserve Quakers Hill and the Blacktown Olympic Centre, Rooty Hill. Not a problem. A team bus quickly became part of the planning. During competition it became an opportunity for bonding, strategising, commiserating and re-hydrating.
For many, this was the chance to play on the main diamond of the Blacktown Olympic Park, while looked on by friends and family from the grandstand. We managed to live this dream twice, banking precious memories along the way.
International competition was a little more limited than we hoped. Our pool included the Northern California Buzzards and a team from South Africa. The other “exotic” team in the pool was Double Ds from Melbourne. The pool also included some very familiar faces from our winter competition with Como Comets and Arncliffe Scots in attendance.
Despite the memories from the competition games, scenes from the Opening Ceremony at Homebush were for many of us the pinnacle. Who can ever forget the thrill of walking out onto the Stadium floor and then to sing our National Anthem amongst the competitors? These memories may never fade.
A big “thank you” to family and friends for their support and encouragement, in all its forms - strapping, liniment, pain killers, soothing words, etc. Thanks to our team management for general organisation, bus driving, scheduling and the usual round of unseen tasks that were quietly done. Thanks to Meredith for extraordinary coloured pencil work. The Club’s support and contributions are acknowledged and appreciated.
Team spirit was extraordinary. It was a delight to share the diamond with this group of people. When do registrations start for the next World Masters Games in Turin (Italy) in 2013?
“And you know that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill
Doin' the old folks boogie
And boogie we will
'Cause to us the thought's as good as a thrill”.