Rounding Third By Line Drive August 27th 2019

Hello and welcome to a long overdue edition of Rounding Third. It has been a very busy couple of months for Line Drive, so unfortunately he has not had enough time to watch and observe the goings on down at The Ranch. However things have slowed down a little bit and he’s now had a chance to run an eye over what has been happening.
The North Eastern Baseball 2019 season has come to an end with both Rangers sides Orange and Black making their respective Grand Finals. Unfortunately through no want of trying, neither side could not get over the line. Congratulations goes to Porepunkah Panthers and North Albury Bears for their Grand final wins. Enjoy the celebrations. More about that sort of stuff later.
This edition will be quite wide as there have been sections written over the past couple of months. Stick with it and enjoy the read.
Butts is the man…and is the game.
    There are few players that I know that give as much effort in finals as one Rob “Butts” Seymour does. Year in and year out Butts puts the Orange and Black on with pride and will always give 110 per cent out on the diamond. He continues to throw himself around like a 20 year old and many of the plays he has made at second base this year, others would not even get near. His hitting and base smarts need to be mentioned as well and many pitchers find him a nightmare to pitch against. Butts has one of the longest histories with the club and is respected by many, for the way he plays the game. Always hard, fair and wants to win. Sometimes others look to gain an edge over him and ruffle his feathers, however Buttsy’s ability to just play the game and support his team is a testament to his nature. Most players show the respect deserved to him as a player, a coach and a friend.  Another great year of diving and countless double plays! Keep playing the way you do Rob. We all love and respect what you do for the game In the North Eastern Baseball Association.
Grand Final day 2019
    As mentioned above it was a wonderful effort for both Rangers Orange and Rangers Black in making the grand final for 2019. The hired a bus and many Ranger players and supporters jumped on to enjoy the trip up the Hume to Wodonga. Coupled with others who travelled far and wide to come watch the great atmosphere on the day.
In the early game Rangers challenged Porepunkah for long periods of the game but Porepunkah proved too strong in the end to take out the 2019 North Eastern Baseball Association B Grade title.
In A grade, Rangers Black jumped out of the blocks behind some strong pitching from Bryan “Moose” Wilson and took and early 3 run lead. One thing for sure is that the Bears would not rest and would come back at Rangers strong. A few hits here and there Bears slowly clawed their way back into the game and continued to scratch and fight for runs. Rangers Black threw everything at them but could not get over the line going down 11-4 in the end. It sounds like a big scoreline but the game was much closer than that. Rangers should be proud of the way they played the game and represented the club. From juniors to seniors, we are continuing to grow and thrive with plans to enter a third senior team, and a second junior side in season 2020. This is through the committed efforts of the current committee and the many helpers the Wangaratta Rangers are fortunate to have.  Watch this space for news in the off season. There is much planning to do!
GF day 2019
View of the B Grade from the outfield. Was a busy day so only picture Line Drive got.
Junior Final day 
    A typical winters day greeted the 2019 Junior Finals day held at Wangaratta on July 14th. The weather was cold, dreary, and it threatened to rain, but the enthusiasm and the play on the diamonds under some trying conditions was hot! The car park was full. The the numbers of parents, friends, former players and members of the North Eastern Baseball community coming together to celebrate and support juniors finals day was amazing to witness. Already many of the junior Rangers have recommitted for season 2020. A big thank you to Coaches Owen Godenzi and Nathan Pool, helped by a variety of others throughout training and on game-day in season 2019. Not to mention sponsors Wangaratta McDonalds and Frasca’s Steel.
Presentation Night
    This year the Rangers night to celebrate a fantastic 2019 season will be held on Saturday September the 7th at Wangaratta Gateway Hotel. It will be sit down affair with two course feed being the order of the night. Numbers are being taken online for those who want to go along and have a night of laughs and a good time. Some of the Ranger crew and their partners have already mentioned that they are going to ‘frock up’, so get the suits and dresses out ladies and gents. A best dressed award could be in order. Brownlow eat your heart out!  Dale “Humpernickle” Stevens has been checking out the menu and is looking forward to trying the chicken or the veal. Night will kick off with the Annual General Meeting followed by presentation starting at 6:30pm. If you are interested in becoming part of a vibrant forward thinking committee drop the club a line and come along on September the 7th.
Griff and no beard
A shock to the system when wandering to get a some food from the Wangaratta Canteen a few Sundays back, was being greeted by a clean shaven Daniel Griffin. A good friend of Line Drive was rather taken aback by being greeted by a clean shaven Daniel, so much that he could not call him by his usual nickname, “Griff”. He will now be known simply as ‘Daniel’ till it grows back. One wonders what the rest of Esmond street posse would look like if they shaved their defining features off too?
Grunt the Pig makes and appearance at the Baseball
Do you remember the day that you batted a thousand for the cycle and stole three bases? No? Not really, but Grunt the pig was at Targoora Park. Yes Grunt and his owner were out for a wander a couple of Sunday’s ago and all sort his presence. Shaun “Old School” O’Neil quipped to Rob “Butts” Seymour before the game that if he had a big day, no one would remember what Buttsy did on the diamond but many would remember Grunt being at the baseball. For the record, what did Buttsy do that day? It was so long ago now that you might need to ask him. Ask Grunt, he might know.
Thursday nights in 2019
The commitment shown by all who have pulled on the Orange and Black this year is to be commended. Week in and week out this year there has been on average no less than fifteen having a throw, a hit and generally improving their all round skills and knowledge at training on Thursday nights. I know to many readers at other clubs, 15 does not sound like many but for a small club this has been a huge effort. There are few who travel from afar each week for training and their effort is recognized too. A big thank you to all those who have put their hand up to cook a meal, run training, set up the diamonds, help out with juniors among all the other little activities we all have going on in our lives. It makes the drive over always worth it.
 
What on Earth is going on with the trip?
    The 2019 Rangers Ramble has taken many twists and turns over the past few months. At this stage it is still in a holding pattern. This has given the chance for a few Ranger trip veterans to realise they may have a chance to make the trip after all in 2019. Once determined, it will be full steam ahead for all. This does give the punters of the group a chance to continue to try raise funds and the tin is still open until those who go get on the bus. Watch this space.
Softball anyone keen?
    Softball is played on the border over the summer months and a few Rangers players travel up and play in the Albury Wodonga Softball Association. There are varying times that they play, but I do recall it is either Wednesday night or Saturday. The club is putting the feelers out there for anyone who is keen to play softball. For more information contact the club and let Kev Pool know.
Summer time is no time to rest.
    With so many plans that have come to fruition in season 2019, the club now looks to the off season to continue the revamp and resurgence of baseball in Wangaratta. A job to be completed over the coming months is to top dress the diamond to help promote more grass growth and improve overall appearance of diamond one. Diamond one had a bit of a tough winter and needs a bit of TLC. The club are looking to get together once a month over spring and summer to do work around the grounds and rooms. When plans are more solid we will update the Facebook page, Team app and web page for more details. The club are on the look for more players so would love to see new faces down at the Ranch in the coming seasons.
Cod Season
Did someone say Cods? Are we allowed to talk about Cods now? Esmond Street are you tailgating again on the weekend of March 19-22nd in Ballarat? Of course you are!
Now for the club stuff
  • Presentation at Gateway Wangaratta Saturday 7th of September $42 for a two course meal. Will be a great night.
  • Interested in Softball? Let Kev Pool know.
  • Got raffle tickets for the Rotary Wangaratta Raffle? Make sure you sell them and get them back to Kev Pool as soon as you can.
  • Working Bees will be posted online. Hope to see you there.
  • Interested in playing next season? We got spots for you! Come along and join the most progressive club in the North East!
  • Pickle ball on Tuesday and Saturdays. Message Moose if interested.
Well I think I have said enough this week. Apologies for the lack of writing over the past couple of months. I know there are many out there who do enjoy the read, and the catch up on what is going on in North Eastern Baseball. Look for another edition once presentation is done and dusted. I am sure there will be much to talk about then. Maybe I will save the big wrap up till then.
Till next time,
Go Rangers !

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