On March 13th our club will celebrate our annual Life Members Day, when we play Port Melbourne for the last game of the home and away season, before finals begin.
This year our 1's will play in white vintage uniforms, like the ones depicted in the photo of our 1991/92 1's team.
It was only after our Division 2 Firsts won the 1988/89 Premiership and were promoted to Division 1, that numbers were issued to players, so our vintage jerseys will have names on them rather than numbers. Below is a list of names from the 'Team of the Century', that will be honoured on our vintage jerseys, some of whom will be in attendance on March 13th. It's shaping up to be a great event, and a wonderful way to showcase our club to the wider community. We hope to see all of our members old and new, as well as our sponsors in attendance. As usual, refreshments will be on offer.
Snippets by Les Flower
On reflection this year (1991/92) the Club was set up for big things. The firsts had a star studded line
up with a mix of ex Australian and State players and some very promising up and comers. All teams
where set up with Coaches, Scorers, and Managers well before the start of the season. Ray Baker and
David Male had all aspects running smoothly with Anthony Carlyon having set up a great Social
calendar for the year and the Ladies Committee also looking to raise lots of money for the Club.
There were 9 Junior teams under Junior Manager Laurie Treadwell and there were a number of
upgrades happening on the ground and surrounds under the guidance of Derek Woodney. The season
was a success socially and with the Juniors, but a disappointment on the field with the Seniors.
Commenced playing in seniors in 1960. Retired in 1997 having played a total of 465 recorded games with the Club. John was awarded Life Membership in 1980.
John was appointed to Coach the seniors in 1978 and 1979.
John played in a variety of positions; he was a fine Catcher, and played second base and outfield during his illustrious career.
Believe it or not John had exceptional speed as a youngster and a more than average left hand hitter. John was the person you want on the bench in a team such as this to give you the hit, steal a base or make the out when the crunch is on.
Played his first game in seniors only days after his 14th birthday when special permission was provided by the Victorian Baseball Association.
I believe that game was against Moorabbin
He went on to play 193 games; 189 in the firsts nine. Justin won 4 Thompson Trophies as the MVP of the Club.
Justin Played College Ball in the USA at Chabot College, National League in the Australian League with the Monarchs and the Bushrangers and was signed by the Florida Marlins where he played professional ball for some time.
Justin played 1st Base, pitched, in fact played a number of in-field positions over the journey. A sensational batter and leader of the team.
Bob Hindson played in the inaugural team of 1908 and Coached the Club several times in the years between 1908 and 1926.
Bob was instrumental in assisting Williamstown winning the 1909 Premiership. Bob was a first base/catcher and records indicate an outstanding leader.
Bob represented Victoria in the Interstate series between Victoria and NSW on several occasions.
The best player in Division 2 Baseball is presented with the R.R Hindson Medal a medal named after this man. This is a measure of the status of the man’s ability in Victorian Baseball.
He was later the President of the VBA for 13 years and was the instigator of the merge between the Victorian Baseball Union and League which saw the Victorian Baseball Association come into existence.
Jay started his baseball career at about 6 years of age fielding ghost balls at short stop on the main diamond at Willy before the seniors where his older brothers were playing.
Similar to Justin Charles, Jay has played over 230 Senior games, 220 in the firsts and should make 300 in the very near future as he is still playing in the Club’s senior side.
Jay played National League with the Monarchs.
As a short stop there has been few Williamstown Players who would surpass his brilliance. If required Jay can fill in on the mound or even put the mask on behind the dish, the ultimate in utility players.
What can you say about this bloke.
Came to Williamstown from the Newport Baptists in 1970 and still plays today.
Has played more games than Les Flower in fact has played 735 games, 329 of these in the firsts.
Treddy still hits the ball with power.
He has played Catcher, outfield and most in-field positions in the firsts. One of the better hitters ever in the club and solid as a rock in the field.
Peter played 1963-70 and more than 100 first games. Unfortunately a health issue ended his career at Willy.
Peter played outfield and he was one of the finest outfield players you would ever see. Peter represented Williamstown in the Harrison Lecky Series in 1967
As an outfield player, he along with his counterparts in the outfield at Williamstown, did away with the cut off man with an outstanding power arm.
Batting at the four spot throughout his career in the firsts proves his ability with the bat.
Jim Andrews - Left Hand Pitcher
Jim commenced his baseball career at Williamstown in 1922 and would establish a record which would be hard to beat.
In his first 3 years at Williamstown, being 1922,1923 and 1924, the club won premierships. Jim Represented Victoria in 1924,1925,1926, 1927 and 1928.
In the 1924 Grand Final against University, Andrews pitched the entire game giving up one hit which was in the first innings.
Not only was Jim an accomplished pitcher, he was an outstanding hitter, winning 2 Championship hitting awards whilst representing Victoria.
Andrews athletic ability was incredible as he also won the "Championship Sprint" at the Interstate carnival in 1925.
Harry Smith was here at the beginning of 1908 he was an stalwart of the club who could seriously play.
He lead the club from the mound for years and was Secretary for more than 20 years consecutively.
It is recorded in the Victorian Baseball Association records of his feat in the 1911 Grand Final where he pitched 22 Strikeouts against the Premiers of that year Richmond.
What a man; he started in the early 40's and in 1948 he won the Hindson Medal by a margin of 7 votes scoring 29 all up.
He was a huge vote getter in the Senior division in his younger days and continued to play and pitch until 1964 at 40 years.
Played more than 350 senior games. He won the J Thompson Trophy in 1955 which was the inaugural year of the award.
It has been reported that the American Scouts were looking long and hard at Tiger and unfortunately his brother was killed and he did not want to leave the family.
Tiger was strong, unyielding and had a range of pitchers that kept batters confused, and at times intimidated.
He was awarded Life membership of the Club in 1954.
Started in seniors in 1964 and went on to play 229 senior games before transferring to Coburg.
Alan gave everything he had in the time spent at Willy. The countless hours spent training and working his butt off to improve.
Bruce Wills was there to assist him at this time and the pair were inseparable.
Alan won the Thompson Trophy 5 Times and in 1971 won both the Thompson and VBA’s Hindson Medal for the best player in B grade.
We should have given him a Premiership also in that year being beaten 4-2 by Sandringham in the Grand Final again missing promotion to Division 1.
Alan unfortunately lost the Hindson Trophy on a count-back in 1972 (we should ask for a medal now that count-backs are gone).
Alan was one of those breed who could hit and pitch and was a match winner off his hand and bat on regular occasions. A sensational pitcher and Clubman.
At the tender age of 15 Neil took on senior baseball and what a career would follow. He played 557 senior games, 468 of those in the firsts.
Neil won 4 Thompson Trophies, also won the triple with the Keith Tucker Medal as best player in C grade also selected in the Harrison Lecky Intestate team in 1968.
He was also selected in the u16 State team in 1962, Harrison Lecky 1966,1967 and 1968. Only small in stature, had chronic asthma and, in those days, no mounds, this did not detract from the amazing pitching ability.
He was truly a Champion and to his credit never accepted the many offers to move up to Division 1.
He wanted that honour in the Willy Uniform.
Left Field - Noel Macleod
A born and bread Williamstown boy coming out of the Marty Bowyer juniors in 1964.
Noel went on to play 228 games between 1964 and 1975 when he married and moved over to the eastern suburbs.
Noel was one of the revolutions that Bruce Wills bought to the outfield; - don't worry about cut off's the arm was so good they could throw on the full to all bases and in fact to home if required.
Noel was very athletic and read the ball with precise accuracy. He was a strong hitter and played in the premiership of 1968.
Noel Represented Victoria in Interstate Baseball in the 1972 summer Series
Centre Field - Max Wainshtein
Stated in 1948 and was the first player in the modern era to play more than 500 games finishing his carrier in 1979.
Max was a nuggetty player who missed nothing at centre field, wheeled a mighty bat and ran the bases with vigour.
Max won the Thompson trophy in 1963 and was selected in the Harrison Lecky Interstate Series.
Max was awarded Life Membership in 1953. Unfortunately Max passed away only weeks ago.
Right Field - Glen Hardy
A current Player who commenced in 1991.
Glen is one of the dynamic young players today.
Lead off Hitter, runs like the proverbial cat, and misses nothing near him in the outfield. His uncanny ability to read the ball is one of his most outstanding attributes
For his size is a most powerful hitter and has the arm strength required, and is a born leader of the team.
3rd Base - Norman Thompson
" Nozza" as he was know to all and sundry owns thirds base.
Played from 1947 to 1965 and, of the 330 games played, 295 we in the firsts.
Ray Baker will attest to the ability of Nozza as he had to sit and wait for him to retire to take his place at 3rd.
Nozza was not a large man, however as a lead off hitter and sensational base runner, he was a tough nut to hold down.
His fielding is legendary, like the human vacuum at third.
Short Stop - Peter BowyeR
Played 1964 to 1982 with a total of 352 games.
Son of Marty, Peter was a brilliant junior and took the game to new levels in the seniors at Short Stop.
A outstanding hitter and base runner. Peter was an aggressive and hard nose player who gave everything on the field and let them now about it.
I believe that Peter would have played 500 plus games however he unfortunately suffered a serious shoulder injury, which kept him out for some time.
Peter represented Victoria in the U16 's in 1965, U18’s in 1966, and again in 1967, the Harrison Leckie Senior series in 1968.
2nd Base - Alan Woods
A gifted football player who wandered down from Melbourne University whilst injured, was coaxed into playing baseball and that was history. We believe this was about 1933.
Alan played for 35 years finishing his career in 1968.
From 1947 to 1968 he played 367 games, god knows how many he really played I estimate 650.
Most of those games were at second base.
Alan was an absolutely marvellous ball handler who possessed a strong arm and ran the bases like you would not believe.
A dangerous batter who very rarely struck out; his motto was if you have the speed you can always put the pressure on the fielding team. It was called "Woodsy machine", there is a number of players will know exactly what I am saying.
1st Base - George Parnaby
Played 1960 to 1988.
In all, 343 Games at First Base.
George came through the juniors in the same era as Neil Pedretti and was the pinnacle of stability.
George was not flamboyant on the field; he was rock solid.
He never took a step side ways, took some knocks that would have put a lesser man down and out.
George won 2 Thompson trophies 1969 and 1977/78, not bad for an infielder when you consider between 1955 and 1978 only 4 non pitchers had won the trophy and George did it twice.
When you had the game on the line, needed a hit, needed to move a runner around all you wanted was George at the plate.
Very rarely did he strike out in 300 plus games. Unfortunately stats from that era are not available as they are now, however I would envisage him a 300 + life hitter who hit several Home runs a season.
Catcher - Frank Bowyer
Played 1958 to 1972
In total Frank played 265 games.
Frank was the most frustrated junior player ever known as he was about the only player in Marty's team in those days who knew what was happening.
As a senior has was without peer behind the dish and a born leader.
He had outstanding glove work, and could analyse batters strengths and weaknesses better than most. He was the catcher to the great Neil Pedretti and together they were, at that time, the most formidable combination in the grade.
Frank won the Thompson Trophy in 1967 and was selected in the Harrison Leckie Interstate Team in 1967
Unfortunately Frank Passed away in his prime in 1972. No doubt he would have been a legend by now.
Coach - Bruce Wills
Bruce was lured to the Club in 1968. Well what a decision that was. Not only was he a great player, he was an outstanding Coach.
Bruce lead the Williamstown Club into the most successful periods in its history.
He taught the players how to play baseball in the big league; forget about the past of bash and crash. It was a new beginning.
We won the Premiership in C grade in 1968, were promoted to B Grade in 1969 and finished fourth.
That was not a barrier for the super coach as we defeated Preston 14-4 in the semi Melb Uni 8-2 in the Prelim and went into the (then) play offs with the bottom two sides from Division One looking to earn a spot in the A grade. Unfortunately we missed out on promotion and Oakleigh was promoted after the series.
The Bruce Wills theory of play still rings in our ears, and the change of uniform from the flannel blue to White/yellow and blue was also an idea of Willsy to change the culture.
We decided that we need a scorer and a recorder for the team of the century
Norma has been scoring for more than 40 years.
Imagine how many pencils she has worn out in that time.
She has seen the highs and lows of the club, however she never missed a game. You would have to guess that she has scored in excess of 1000 games for the club.
How could we forget when the game at West Brunswick stopped to break up the scorers who were involved in a punch up.
No it could not be mild mannered Norma.
Norma represented Victoria as scorer in the interstate Summer series in 1973.
Norma was awarded Life Membership for services in 1987 and finally retired from full time scoring last year.
What a fantastic effort for all those years.
Jennie was introduced to the rigours of scoring some 30 years ago when, her then boy friend Alan, dragged her along to baseball.
Instead of just sitting and watching Jennie got involved with scoring the game.
Wow from the humble beginnings of Williamstown to the heights of the Olympic Games. Jennie is one on the most decorated scorers we have in this Country and she is ours.
World Cup in Taiwan, Olympics 2000, currently in Taiwan again for the Olympic qualifiers and off to the 2008 Games in Beijing.
A most deserving person along with Norma who have given so much to the game off the field.
*Footnote: Jennie has continued to impact scoring on the world stage, being named, in November 2019 Scorer of the Year 'for her support in the global effort of scorers' by world's governing scoring body, the WBSC. Jennie was also invited to score at the Tokoyo 2020 Olympics, which were postponed to 2021. Jennie has scored and instructed on scoring in many places around the world and is still scoring for WBC today.