WITH baseball ready to start another season in Coffs Harbour, the association has been meeting regularly to plan the year ahead.
The calendar is packed not only with a full season of regular games but added to this the senior country championships will be held in Coffs, as well as the four locals heading to the United States with the Aussie Expos.
All this means lots of planning, hours of grounds keeping and canteen duties, as well as coaching, fund-raising, scoring and the many other jobs required to keep all the balls in the air.
With all this going on it comes down to a core group of dedicated people and players to make sure it all comes together as envisaged.
These people will continue to do this, as they have in previous years, to little fanfare, and they will sacrifice most of their personal time to do so.
Geoff Rogers has been involved in baseball locally for 25 years and his knowledge of the sport is well known and widely sought.
As president of the Dodgers Baseball Club, he stands supreme at the helm.
This unassuming bloke can get things done with few words and the people around him want to do well for him.
Rogers’ standing and his continued presence in baseball are key factors in keeping the game afloat in Coffs Harbour.
The association counts on other people in valuable roles, such as Michele Naidu, who has served as treasurer for countless years and is a life member of the Coffs Harbour Baseball Association.
Without her we would have a mountain of debt and our draw would be unplayable.
Andrew McIntyre has taken on the role of club secretary and has brought a valued trait with him – organisation.
It’s paying off already.
Thanks to Shirl, our Bluesox girl, we have new blood in the junior ranks and a ready helper each weekend.
Michael Crossland returned last season and his presence was felt immediately.
He is able to implement the ideas and bring a sense of the big picture to the table.
With his impact on the juniors already paying dividends with the Expos, we can only hope that he is involved from here on in.
One of those to have the biggest impact on the game would be coach and Allstars president Chris Cook.
With coaching duties for junior and senior teams, rep coaching and selecting, as well as being roped in for any other jobs required, he is a valued association member.
Our game would also be at a standstill without other members and players, like Paul Grant, James Rogers, and Josh Siebert, and professional umpire Paul Cuttle.
The future of baseball is in safe hands.
At present we have four local players in the Australian team, four in the New South Wales squad and one who is in the Queensland team.
We have a full team of junior reps and willing parents coming on board ready to take this valued association forward in the near future.
As I now have the chair as association president, it has become clear to me that without those mentioned above and others like my good wife Jacqui, the brains of the show, we would be a nonentity and struggling to survive.
As I write this, Tama Nohotima has just made a double play at national level, along with my son, Jason, who has taken the mound as a relief pitcher, bases loaded and no outs and getting three-up and three-down in the Queensland v New South Wales game.
Callie Winsor has just returned from Sydney and was the tournament’s standout player, Luke Mattan is playing and batting for New South Wales, and Nathan Cunningham is in the Queensland squad and there is a lot of hype about him.
With some good juniors coming through, we might just have some of the games biggest names of the future in Coffs at the moment.