Hello and welcome to a special edition of Rounding Third; The Cods Masters Baseball Edition. Over the past weekend 22 players from Albury, Wodonga, Porepunkah and Wangaratta put their hand up to go represent the Cods in the Victorian Masters Baseball Championships held in Ballarat from April 1-3. This year the Cods were able to field two teams in the 35 plus and 45 plus age groups. It was nicely balanced with both teams having eleven players.
Day one saw the Cods 35’s win one/lose one while the Cods 45’s had a similar pattern with their two matches. On Saturday both sides put in a solid effort with the opposition proving much stronger, while on Sunday, similar theme with both sides having a dip but not getting over the line. Another enjoyable weekend had by all in Ballarat. Now with the formalities of how the sides went neatly wrapped up, I wonder what else happened?
Bulldog holds court.
This year’s Master of the penalties is one, Matthew “Bulldog” Carmody. Matt is one who is born to lead a group of bottom feeders like the Cods. He made his presence felt by coming in white hot Thursday night. Great friend of Line Drive, Cam “The Soak” Scott copped the full force of cyclone Carmody after a 4 hour drive from the border. The Soak was caught on the ropes and did not know what was going on. One thing for sure is that if Bulldog says hello to you, make sure you reply straight away!!! Isn’t that right Soak?
Mick’s greatest hits.
Mick Wyatt’s hit parade continues with a collection of some of his greatest hits. Early on Friday morning, Wyatt was a ball magnet. He was hit by the ball in his first two plate appearances! Many of the Cods were hoping he would be hit again in his third plate appearance, but instead he got a base hit instead. However for Wyatt, the day just continued to improve, as he hit the ball to all parts of the field in the second game. Lucky for Mick he was not hit by a pitch again for the rest of the weekend.
Barker: Just doing Barker like things
One of Porepunkah’s finest, Damon “Barks” Barker had a chance at a rare feat on Friday at Vic Masters. The chance at the fabled cycle. For those who are reading for the first time, a cycle is a single base hit, double, triple and a home run. Barks got the single, home run and the pesky triple out of the way. However Barks got “peacocked” by one, Tetsuya “Mr Chow” Kamiyama. With the game almost done and dusted, Tets failed as Nathan “Fomo” Pool called out to “READ THE ROOM!!!” to give Barks a chance at a rare feat. Tets got a base hit and that ended the chance as the Cods were far enough in front.
In true humble Barker style, he just moved on. However Barks got the ultimate prize. He was awarded the pufferfish for best Cod in 2022. Congratulations to Barks. Great stuff
Everyone hits at Cods
When you decide to put your hand up to play masters, there are two basic principles to play Cods by. For yourself, get a hit. As a team, score a run. Amazing to say that ALL 22 cods have achieved the first principle on day ONE! Over a conversation with a couple of fellow Cods, it has been ticked off. Through all the years of attending the masters, this scribe cannot think of a year that every single Cod player got a hit in for the weekend.
One for the Cods history books.
One Seymour is better than none
It was bit of bad luck that perennial Cods favourite, Rob “Butts” Seymour was a notable absentee for the latest edition of Cod Ballarat 2022, with some commenting it was not the same without Butts there. However, a Seymour was still in attendance. Buttsy’s brother, Tim “Brother Butts” Seymour donned Cods colours for another year. Year in and year, out Tim just slides into the team like a well fitting old baseball mitt. As usual, he ran fast, caught fly balls and hit the ball to all parts of the field, doing his job like a typical Seymour does. Tim had such a good time he finished in the placings for the pufferfish award This made Ash Meyers “I didn’t know the Seymour’s had teeth! Then i saw Timmy smiling. Who knew! A happy Seymour! Sure we will see him once again in Cods colours in 2023!
Whiteman has a new shiny toy
Sean Whiteman bought himself a new shiny piece of equipment. A very nice looking blue and white baseball bat. Many a Cod player commented on how nice and shiny the gloss white paint and blue handle looked but were wondering, are there many hits in it? Unfortunately for Shaun in his first couple of at bats with the new stick, he neglected to use it for its intended purpose. It was more of an ornament while up at the plate. By Sunday this had been rectified and to all concerned the bat was being used for it’s intended purposes.
Scoot on down the road. Just watch the face.
Many of the Cods players decided to try a new mode of transportation around Ballarat over the weekend. No Uber’s, no taxis, no bicycles. The scooter became the ‘go to’ ride of choice to get between places. Some Cods were adventurous enough scoot back to the rooms from the baseball diamonds.
From Nathan Pool ripping a skid (with the attitude to match it) into the accommodation, then Tetsuya Kamiyama almost riding into a sign, scooters were going everywhere. Some just rode them around town before they went back to their rooms. The talk around masters on the Saturday and the Sunday was that there was a player from one of the teams who had come off their scooter and tasted the pavement. The person involved had a nice reminder on their face. Ironically the player almost achieved a matching one on Sunday after a baseball jumped off a bump and hit the other cheek. Now who would that be?
The phrase no one wants to hear when the ball is hit in your general direction on the baseball diamond, is a player calling out “Oh no…!” before it even reaches them. This happened to Nathan “Fomo” Pool, who had the misfortune of knowing what was going to happen next after the “oh no” was verbalised. The ball trickled out of the glove and behind Pooly at shortstop. In all the years Pooly has been playing baseball, he says it’s up there with one of the worst errors he’s ever made. Still he stuck with the next few and made amends for his first audible “oh no” moment in a long time.
Cods and Saturday Quaddies are not friends.
Ash Meyers said this was the year. This was the year the Cods will get the first leg and get into the Saturday Sydney quaddie. He proudly proclaimed this while at the local establishment Saturday morning. He gathered 12 hardy souls to go into partnership with picking the numbers. The boys were feeling good until Meyers let everyone know around the table that NO ONE had picked the favourite in the first leg, but taken the field in the second leg. Problem is, the first leg is more important than the second in this matter. Meyers probably shouldn’t have told us what was left out. So, what happens next? Yes you got it, the favourite wins and, for the 6th year in succession, Cods fail to get the quaddie out of the gate. Cods will try again next year.
Is there something in the water in the North east?
A few other sides were shocked to see so many left handers in the Cods 35 plus lineup. So were the Cods! The distribution through the lineup was one that was most interesting. Instead of right ,left,right,left…….let’s just put them altogether. At one point the lineup read as follows first six hitters were-
- left handed
- left handed
- right handed
- left handed
- left handed
- left handed
Many an opposition side were wondering what was in the water in the North East? It was observed that most of the leagues lefties were in Ballarat for the weekend. The reason for clustering them altogether? No reason. Maybe the managers were amusing themselves. Back when the season starts, normality will return to the batting lineups.
Spinner can do it all
Tony “Spinner” Smith is the ultimate team man. From gathering all the players date of birth, data entry and organising two sides for entry, to scoring his first game of baseball in 20 years (he did it twice) and being a clutch hitter off the bench, Spinner did the jobs that need to make Cods the well oiled machine many have become accustomed to. It’s a big job to organise blokes from different clubs to come together and gather the data required for entry. From everyone involved in Cods in 2022 they are very appreciative of the efforts Spinner put into make this happen. Great job Spin.
Cods baseball would like to thank
It has been a big effort by many people over the past six months to make sure the Victorian Masters Baseball carnival was a great success. A big shout out to the hosting clubs of Ballarat Royals and Alfredton Baseball clubs who coordinated and made the weekend an extremely enjoyable one. To Rick Tresize who took on the job of coordinating the draw and all that goes with that task, a big pat on the back. To the umpires, players of all teams, scorers, photographers (yes KC Line Drive saw what you did!) a massive thank you to you for making it another fantastic weekend of baseball, stories and revelling in the fact we are getting older but we still love the game like when we were young.
To the Cods crew of game day managers 35 plus of Mick Wyatt and Heath Anders and Damon Barker and Tetsuya Kamiyama for guiding the 45 plus. Nathan Pool for coordinating accommodation, to those who drove down from the north east and to all players who had a ripping time. If I have forgotten anyone I apologise! And for spelling names wrong too!
Cods 35 plus for 2022 were
Mick Wyatt, Heath Anders, Scott McCallum, Cam Scott, Brendan Cameron, Shaun Whiteman, Shaun O’Neil, Ross Johnson, Nathan Pool, Brendan Simmons Paul Meddings
Cods 45 plus for 2022 were
Damon Barker, Tetsuya Kamiyama, Ash Meyers, Randy Skippen, Jason Jonker, Tony Smith, Steve Peruzzo, Tim Seymour, Adam Rosser, Adrian Quinton, Rian Banks
Not to forget no 1 ticket Cods holder Matt Carmody for his role as master of penalties.
Hope you enjoyed the read. These are only some of the stories from a great weekend. All is in good fun and faith. Till next time