Hello and welcome to the third edition of the Voodoo Diaries. The Pan Pacific Games 2022 have come to a close over the weekend on the Gold Coast and many of the Voodoo have now returned to Western Australia, and a very soggy Victoria.
Over the course of the last couple of days, there has been numerous messages of support for one another.
For many, yes, the struggle is real. For Line Drive, this is the final diary entry for Voodoo, and he will be closing the 2022 Voodoo Baseball book.
Let’s recap what has happened since the last time Line Drive ran his eye over the ‘goings on’ at Voodoo.
Voodoo: So close!
After finishing games of the 35 plus competition with three wins, a draw, and a loss, the Voodoo men had earnt the right to play for the gold medal against local club Surfers Paradise. In the preliminary round, Voodoo had fought back to record a draw and they were ready to get that extra run to get the win this time. Jude Power was given the nod to start and after a couple of trouble free innings, lost the radar. Surfers were able to capitalise on a couple of errors by Voodoo to get out to a four run lead. Voodoo began to string hits together and started to have runners in scoring position. However, Surfers hung tough and were able to get out of the jam.
Voodoo needed some good clean quick innings and behind Luke Hornstra, this was able to occur.
Voodoo tacked on a run, while Surfers were able to plate another.
Hornstra was commanding on the mound, and with some good defense from Brendan Simmons at third base, it ensured another quick innings. Consecutive hits by the Voodoo lower order, allowing another run to score. Momentum was beginning to shift Voodoos way. Soon the bases were loaded.
Enter Brendon Simmons. Over the years Line Drive has been witness to some clutch moments in games, and this was no different. Simmons was able to turn on an inside pitch with a foul line hugging triple into the right field corner, clearing the bases and levelling the game. Poor Nathan Pool was really blowing hard after scoring from first base. The sensational crowd in attendance were now in the game and Surfers were searching for answers.
Time was at a premium and with Surfers last to hit, the men of Voodoo were hoping for a quick inning. However Surfers were able to get back to back hits and put a runner at second base. Voodoo coach John Kus rolled the dice one more time but however it was not meant to be. Surfers were able to score the winning run on a walk off with the score being 6 to 5. A great ovation from the crowd greeted both teams after the match. A quality game befitting of a gold medal match. Congratulations to Surfers Paradise for the gold medal.
But Voodoo? The first time this side has entered a masters competition! From the start of the week many had never played on the same team, let alone know each another. A silver medal is a wonderful achievement and something which is to be celebrated and reflect upon as ‘bloody awesome!’
TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!
MVP to Luke Hornstra
A massive congratulations goes out to Luke Hornstra who was recognised as the most valuable player in the Pan Pacific Games Masters 35 plus division. Hornstra, who for Voodoo, was the most consistent performer throughout the week. From starting pitcher in the first game, to hitting countless balls to all parts of the diamond throughout the week. He was consistent as ever. Great effort Luke.
What about me?
In the last edition when comparing Jude “Seabiscuit” Power and Josh Grahams pitching states over, however many innings it was…. another thrower had a little bit of a “what about me?” moment. It was overlooked that maybe Davis Long’s three strike outs should have been included in the conversation. On reflection of this oversight Line Drive believes there was nothing further to add.
A big shout out to Dennis Smith, who, with the use of his Canyonero, helped ferry people and gear to and from the games each day. Smith, like so many others, just played his role and with no fuss. It was noted on Thursday as the boys were heading home, that the truck parked next to Dennis’s made his Canyonero look very small. The general comment was, maybe Dennis needs to upgrade to the next level. He just smiled and replied “you need to have a truck license for that” Fair enough Dennis.
For those who know Nathan “FOMO” Pool, know that there does not seem to be a baseball sanctioned trip away without Nath hurting himself. From bumps on the head, to mishaps around pool tables, Nathan is a bit unlucky! Now, this has extended to mini van doors. Poor Nathan managed to bump his toe exiting a van. Compared to past exploits, it was nothing to worry about. Just be careful Nathan. FOMO can sometimes work against you.
“Shut up Buttsy stop being so annoying!”, was Ben Laux go to phrase towards Rob Seymour for the week. Of course this was all tongue in cheek. Laux loves Butts, as we all do. Not bad for country baseballers! Seriously though Butts, “We love you….”
Fun times and life long friends.
Voodoo was an idea that was hatched a long time ago. Many of the players knew of each other from past carnivals and trips together over a decade ago. However, this was the first time that all were now part of the same side. As the week progressed, many of the players spoke about how seamlessly the side had come together and how much they all enjoyed each others company. For some, it was great to be able play alongside long time adversaries, and for others, it was being able to share the same diamond with players they have known for a long time. All bought in to the Voodoo, and found that Voodoo is lucky….
From Line Drive
It has been pretty quiet for Line Drive in the season 2022. The idea of Line Drive writing about Voodoo was mentioned by a friend, who asked if Line Drive was going to write about the week at the Pan Pacs on the Gold Coast. Line Drive had honestly had not given it a thought.
However when the name, “The Voodoo Diaries” was thrown up, it gave Line Drive an opportunity to first talk about baseball in a unique way, and secondly, give players and other interested parties an interest in Voodoo to keep up to date with what was happening at the Pan Pacs.
It became more evident over the week, just how many people actually read these stories.
So many people asked if Line Drive was going to be there this week. I would disappear for a while to collect my thoughts with a soda water, and decipher my thoughts about the day’s play on and off the field. Some would wonder what I was doing, while those who know Line Drive say, “that’s what he does.”
The rabble of writing a piece, which would then be sent to my editor, Line Drive’s wonderful wife,
Lauren “Mrs Soak” Grenfell, who would then say; “what the f*** does some of this mean?”
Random waffle and note taking would then be turned from rambling prattle of someone who is spewing nonsense, to exactly what you read now. I really thank you Lauren for your efforts as it’s not easy dealing with someone so far away typing on a phone, usually a couple of soda waters in!
I would like to say THANKYOU for the opportunity to come along, play some baseball, meet and spend time with new people and great mates, and then get the opportunity to write about it all.
What I write is always done with my usual spin on a story, and from what I observe over the many hours of the day. For me, making a diary of the times we have away is easier for me to be involved in.
To the players of Voodoo, umpire Greg Howard and scorer Michelle Burge Pratt, you all were wonderful in accepting me into it all.
Voodoo Pan Pacific Masters 2022-
Will Brooker (motivational speaker the bead master)
Bradley Pratt (3rd base coach interesting signs though)
Michelle Burge Pratt (scorer)
Greg Howard (Umpire)
Well, that’s enough from me. Line Drive WILL return. Is it Cod season yet? I hope you enjoyed the read.
I have truly enjoyed bringing it to you all.