Tennant Creek Baseball Premiers
1955 – Dodgers; 1956 – Giants; 1957 – Dodgers; 1958 – Tigers; 1959 – Pirates; 1960 – Tigers; 1961 – Dodgers; 1962 – Dodgers; 1963 – Dodgers; 1964 – Dodgers; 1965 – Dodgers; 1966 – Ramblers; 1967 – Pirates; 1968 – Tigers; 1969 – Demons
In the Beginning….
This weekend will see the finals of the 1957 baseball season. It has been a good season with some very exciting games and keen competition. The usual faithful supporters have rolled up each week to urge on their favourite team and it is encouraging to see more and more interested spectators each year for a game which began in typical Tennant Creek style.
The birth of baseball came about by a few of the townsfolk enjoying a picnic at the 7-mile and playing with paddy melons and sticks caused some amusement. It was such a wonderful day out that all vowed to go out again next week. It was then that the elevation of tennis ball and bat took place and teams were formed to make the game more interesting.
Even in those early days, competition was keen and barracking long and loud for men, women and kids flying around the flat at the 7-mile endeavouring to make “home” for his or hers team.
Then came the subject of baseball. Mr Bill Graves, an American here at the time was possibly the most enthusiastic supporter, having played extensively in the States, he offered to teach all interested and umpire the game.
It was after this that the game started in town at “Ebbet’s Field” as it is known today. The challenge for teams was out and the first team was formed, calling themselves the “Dodgers”. The Nob boys were not going to be left out, so under the direction of Alec (Sticky-Glove) McDonald, the “Giants” took their place in baseball.
Tennant Creek humour! – (Ebbet’s Field was a Major League Baseball stadium in Brooklyn, New York City. It was the home of the Dodgers baseball team from 1913 to 1957 )
The first game was played with pick handles in pouring rain and at the completion, a merrier sight has never been seen – a bunch of aching, exhausted and mud coated players stumbled off the diamond, but the spirit was there to stay.
Things moved rapidly after this day. Baseball gear started arriving with each plane, and uniforms planned and made. The diamond soon took shape and three more teams, the Tigers, the Pirates and the Hoppers came onto the field. The baseball Association was formed.
It was at this early stage that the women, not to be outclassed formed two soft-ball teams, namely, “the Dodger Dolls” and the “Tiger Tarts”. As someone once wrote, “any resemblance between these matches and baseball is purely coincidental”. This of course was quite true, but a lot of fun.
The girls took the whole matter seriously but with little support from the men – this being particularly noticeable with the constant stream of toddlers trotting onto the diamond to ask “Mummy” something. (The women have never played since).
And so baseball came to Tennant Creek to stay. This week will see the completion of its third year, with no less enthusiasm and good sportsmanship then was there on the first day.
The business people and public have responded magnificently to the game and some wonderful trophies have been donated over the period and any player winning and holding any of these trophies does so with pride.
For all of our keen interest and the will to see our own team win and become premiers a feeling of sympathy goes to the teams eliminated in the semi-finals. They have done a grand job and all teams together have made baseball what it is today.
And so after Sunday, One team (either Dodgers or Tigers) will be the holders of the 1957 Pennant. Good luck to them and may the best team win.
(Dodgers were 1957 premiers) … Reprinted – Centralian Advocate 1957
1957 BASEBALL GRAND FINAL – DODGERS vs TIGERS
The following letter and photographs were sent to Paul Ruger by Russell Wilson. Both gentlemen have given permission to publish these.
(Player identified as Clyde Gillies – July 2018)
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