Hello and welcome to the ‘Post Cods’ edition of Rounding Third. The North Eastern Baseball Association season is only a few weeks away. Training is back in full swing for the good folk who play for Wangaratta Rangers. The coaches have been putting the players through their paces and it has been good to see some new young fresh faces out on the diamond the past couple of weeks. The draw has been finalised and opening weekend will be Sunday the 7th of April. Rangers will be heading down the Hume to take on Benalla Bandits at Racecourse Reserve. More about that later. Now onto some news about what has been happening with the Cods.
Cods show plenty of fight
This year the Cods had a bit of an interrupted preparation for their 6th trip to the Victorian Masters baseball Championships. It seemed every week there was a new challenge to put a Cod 35 and 45’s team on the park. However to the credit of the team managers, fellow Cods, and word of mouth, two teams proudly put the teal and black on in 2019. The Cods’s 35’s had the bare nine for the weekend, while the 45’s had one less. However both teams still did the North East proud. The 35’s had their best weekend on the diamond to date winning three and losing one over their four games, while the 45’s had their chances to notch a win but unfortunately fell just short. From all accounts from Line Drive’s spies in Ballarat, all who suited up had a great time once again. Many have put their hand up for next year already. A big thank you to Ballarat Royals Baseball Club for putting on the weekend and the Alfredton Baseball Club who had very comfortable chairs to watch the game. A massive thank you to Kingsley Collins who once again made the weekend run like clockwork. One thing for sure is that every Cod who does the four hour plus drive down from the North East to Ballarat and back again each year, continue to do so for the hospitality, camaraderie and a chance for a laugh, a drink and a bloody good weekend. Line Drive will return next year that’s for sure!
The banter form the Cods was a little more subdued than past years. Maybe with the Shaun “Old School” O’Neil omission, the trip down was pretty tame. Enter Porepunkah’s Matty Shennan. The Punkah boys were running a little late and head Cod Nathan “Rubberarm” Pool was wondering where they were. Shennan was the first to pipe up and take on Pool on the chat. Shennan gave as good as he got on the chat and was asked to make sure he put his money where his mouth was on the diamond on Friday. From all reports from a Cod who was there, Matt Shennon gave a fine tribute to the sponsors with an epic Ice cream catch at left field. Not only did he play the two games for the 35’s, he was asked to bat nine and play right field for his third game of the day in the 45’s. A big first 24 hours, Shennan went on to have one of the more impressive rookie weekends many Cods have seen for a long time. Maybe a smoky for the pufferfish?
Socks maketh the uniform
There have been many trends over the years with baseball uniforms. From the Knickerbocker look to the hemmed pant. From the hemmed pant to the un-hemmed baggy pant, these have been quite subtle. The one area of the uniform that can make it stand out are under the pants, the humble sock. This year the Cods did some research and were able to get their hands on some old school style stirrup socks to jazz up the uniform. Five initial pairs were ordered and they have been a hit. Stirrup sock old timer, Ash “Steel Panther” Meyers was suitably impressed with the colour and how it added to the complete package. Have a look for yourself below. Stirrup socks are back!
It has been a long operation for chief bean counter for the pufferfish award, Nathan “Fomo” Pool. He has been tallying the votes and just generally waiting for those who went to Ballarat to get back to him. Meanwhile past winners Rob “Butts” Seymour, Ash “Steel Panther” Meyers and Heath “Heater” Anders, are wondering if they are going to get their name engraved on the lump of wood for the second time. But the time has arrived to crown the 2019 Pufferfish winner. A rookie, Matty Shennan. Question is it silver or gold?
Thursday night training.
Senior training is back for season 2019 and the Wangaratta Rangers encourage old and new players to come along, say hello and stay for a chat and a meal. Last week was a good old fashioned pie night and this week hot dogs are on the menu. During the year the players take it in turns to cook up a meal of their choice to the masses. One thing is for sure, the out of town travelers enjoy the meal. Remember $10 is all it costs and you always get plenty of food and drink for that amount. Hope to see you at training from 6pm Thursdays.
Season starts this weekend
This weekend Wangaratta will head down the Hume to open their season against Benalla Bandits. Benalla have been very active over the summer time and it will be a good test to start the season. B-grade is from 11:30am while A-grade begins at 2:15pm at Racecourse Reserve Benalla. Drop in for a look if you are in the area on Sunday.
Now for the club stuff
Insurance for the season is now due. Check Teamapp and Wangaratta Rangers website for login details
Juniors Wednesday night from 5pm Come down and have a look.
Seniors training Thursday from 6pm and tea!
A and B grade both at Benalla Sunday from 11:30am
Thanks again and till next time,