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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Rounding Third by Line Drive April 30th 2019

Hello and welcome once again to another edition of Rounding Third. A couple of weeks has passed since we least checked in to see what has been happening down at the Ranch. I seem to say this every time but those ladies and gentlemen of the Wangaratta Rangers are not resting on their heels during season 2019. Last weekend for the first time in around ten seasons, junior baseball returned to the diamonds of Porepunkah and Benalla respectively. Our junior Rangers looked all the part in their new jerseys and grey pants. The game ended in a 5-all draw and was enjoyed by all. A big thank you to the parents and supporters for heading up the valley to watch the game once again. In the late game Rangers Black took on Bears Green. After a rough start on the diamond the boys worked themselves into the game, but unfortunately the horse had bolted the yard and Bears came away with a 13-7 victory. This coming weekend sees games played in Wangaratta where Rangers will play host to Benalla on Sunday. Hope to see you there.
Now onto other news.
 
One in we all in
    Porepunkah Panthers are the team of the Ovens Valley. They are situated 8km from Bright right next to Porepunkah primary school. The ground is one of the most picturesque grounds you could play baseball at through Victoria with the Autumn leaves, colour and the mountains as a backdrop. In recent seasons they have struggled for numbers, but the determination of a small band of baseball die-hards has kept this great little club afloat. On Sunday it was great to see that they have pulled some juniors together to form a team to play this year in the junior competition. If not for the work of the Porepunkah faithful this would have not been the case.  Porepunkah Panthers Baseball Club is the towns only sporting team and this writer feels that many may not even know it is there. After a quick search online, via various sites shows that there is limited knowledge of their existence. But exist they do. This is not just a call for players but a call for anyone out there who would like to get involved or reconnect with baseball with a down to earth club who want to keep the game alive up in the valley. In the past few years a couple of sporting clubs have either folded or merged with others down the valley. Come down and have a look at Porepunkah Recreation Reserve next home game, say hello and help support a great club of the North Eastern Baseball Association.
IMG_5103
Where else can you play in such a picturesque location? Thanks to Lauren Scott for the image
Old School punting.
    There are a few down at the Ranch who like to have a little flutter from time to time. Over the past weekend Shaun “Old School” O’Neill declared he had the winner in the Ranger Ragtag Punters. After the poor start to the game and Old School not having one of his better days along with Cam “The Soak” Scott, he thought they were on a winner with Carlton out to a big lead at half time over Hawthorn. However in the second half the optimism for the punt diminished like Carlton’s lead and the Hawks won in a thriller. Maybe more luck next week, hopefully Kelsey “Dropsy” Burder might turn it around.
Fernando and Skipper: The mower men
    A couple of weeks back Orange managers Steve “Fernando” Peruzzo and sidekick Mick “The Skipper” Wyatt went for a road trip up to Sydney to pick up the clubs new purchase. A mower to help keep the upgraded Ranger number one diamond in tip top condition. From what my spies have heard, the boys did enjoy themselves on the trip and are very chuffed with the mower. This purchase will help improve the quality of the surface at Targoora park as the club are looking to continuing to improve their facilities. Thanks for your efforts gentlemen. Now who is going to drive it first?
 
Thursday night training
    This Thursday will see Cam “The Soak” Scott and Lauren “Mrs Soak” Scott provide dinner for the masses. Now when we talk masses in baseball speak, we refer to the 15-25 members who come down to training week in week out. It does not sound like many but for us at the Ranch this is a healthy turn out, and it’s getting healthier by the week. On the menu is pumpkin soup with scones. Now many of you will be thinking Mrs Soak will be doing most of the preparation but don’t be fooled. Mrs Soak says Cam can cook. Rain hail or shine dinner will be on Thursday night after training for $10 and includes a drink too. Head down earlier to watch the junior Rangers put through their paces, then warm-up from 6pm. See you there.
Rangers Junior News
    Photos from the past weekend are now up online on the Junior Rangers page. A big thanks to Brendon French for taking the photos throughout the first game in Porepunkah. The link is  https://www.facebook.com/wangarattarangersjuniorbaseball/ More photos to come over the coming weeks. If interested, come down to the club on Thursday nights from 5pm and see what it is all about. One thing is for sure, exciting times lie ahead for Wangaratta.
We will keep it short this week so now to the club stuff
  • Players if you are unavailable please place it on teamapp. Download the app and look for Wangaratta Rangers.
  • Rangers play host to all games this week
  • Rangers Orange play Bears Gold from 9:30am
  • Rangers Black play Benalla A from 2:15pm
  • Committee meeting after training this Thursday for those who are interested
  • Punters club is back once again see Cam for details
  • Merchandise is available from the club. Just ask and we hope we can accommodate your wishes
More to talk about next week. In the mean time….
Go Rangers !!

Rounding Third By Line Drive April 15 2019

Hello and welcome to the round one and two edition of Rounding Third.  Season 2019 in the North Eastern Baseball Association got underway for the boys and girls of Wangaratta Rangers Baseball Club. The first round saw a return to the two division system, for the first time in over five years. Rangers Orange who play in B grade had the early game against Benalla B. Rangers Orange proved to be too strong for the newly reformed Benalla B, running out winners 26 to 5. In the late game, Rangers Black took on Benalla A. Rangers jumped out to an early lead and were in control for long parts of the match eventually winning 12-3.
    Week 2 and warm weather greeted all the clubs to sunny Wangaratta. In B grade, Rangers Orange and Porepunkah played out an 8 all draw as time had run out, while in A grade, Rangers Black welcomed Wodonga Warriors White. It was a tight struggle early, with the Rangers eventually gaining some momentum after leaving many early base runners to grind out a win by the score of 11-0.  Once again a very good crowd was in attendance for both games and the club thanks you for your continued support to start season 2019. This is going to be a big edition so let’s get into the news!
French Jonker and Sons
Over the first two rounds it has been pleasing to watch both Jason “Sunscreen” Jonker and Brendon “Frenchy” French get the opportunity to take the diamond with sons Nick Jonker, Heath and Damien French respectively.
It was seen on their social media pages that both men were wrapt to be playing the game they have played for many years, and have passed on their love of the game to their sons too. Congratulations gentlemen, hope you both have an enjoyable year of baseball with your sons in 2019.
Jenko begins season with a bang
Scott “The Beard” Jenkins is a busy man these days. With a young family to look after, and to his time as an apprentice plumber. What else can Jenkins add to his bow? Pitching is something Jenkins has identified as something he would like to do more over season 2019. He got his chance in week 1 down at Benalla where he threw two innings to get the Rangers over the line against Benalla A. He woke up a bit bit battered and bruised come Monday morning, but by Thursday night he was coming good. On Sunday against Wodonga, he let his bat do the talking. He sent a towering shot over left field to open his home run account for season 2019. Could this be the year of Jenkins?
 
Goggles Returns
Good to see Sam “Goggles” Grigg return to the diamond to play. He had made a deal with his fellow Esmond Street comrades that he would play some games this year. This has come about after Kelsey “Dropsie” Burder (who again lived up to his nickname in round 1 vs Benalla) said to him he could not buy into Ranger Ramble VIII to be held later in 2019. Grigg was his usual busy self on the diamond getting on base and speeding his way around the base paths. His coach Mick “The Skipper” Wyatt was impressed with his speed on the diamond,  but was bemused by his lack of it, off it. He was telling Line Drive that Sam was the first one there and getting organised for warm up but one of the last to actually get out to warm up. Save the speed for the game Goggles!
Rangers 2019
Let’s win this! 
The King is here
Great to have Angus King on board in season 2019. Gus has watched a game or two and been seen with the Esmond Street band at numerous Ranger functions. Now Gus has put the glove on and is having a crack out on the diamond. There are a few new faces down at The Ranch this year. A big welcome to Jimi “Winner” Wingrave who made his debut for Orange on Saturday with Dale “Lefty” Steven and Marcus Therkelman. Great see new players, welcome aboard!
Parker picks it perfectly
Aaron “Azza” Parker took to the hill against Wodonga Warriors and after a little bit of an unlucky start, found his groove. With the spluttering Ranger offense in the early innings Parker did a masterful job on the mound to keep the Wodonga bats subdued. Eventually the Ranger bats woke up and started giving him some run support. Once he had finished his stint on the mound, it was difficult to keep Parker out of the game at short stop. A great “eye open” short hop to get an out at first. This was followed by a loose ball that got away from Owen “The Gaffer” Godenzi, to stop a run scoring at home plate. This had the Ranger supporters in full applause for his efforts. Not to mention another supply of top notch lollies! Azza really did have a great day.
Juniors begin in Porepunkah on 28th of April
In what is definitely a step forward for the association, for the first time in ten years, junior baseball is back. After a power of work behind the scenes by all clubs, an under fourteen competition will commence a ten week season to be played at 12-1:30pm on each game day. Coaches Nathan “Fomo” Pool and Owen Godenzi are very excited and pumped about the next generation of ball players who will be wearing the Rangers colours. Training for juniors has moved to Thursday nights from 5pm at Targoora Park. All seniors, if available, are encouraged to head down early before their training and lend a hand to help run drills and teach the basics of baseball. The following Thursday night will see the juniors be presented with their playing tops following training and a good old fashioned pie night will be the order of the night too. These are exciting times for baseball in the North East, and all clubs are to be congratulated on working hard to ensure they have a team ready to go in season 2019. Good luck to all juniors out there. Hope you enjoy the game as much as I have for the past 25 plus years.
Teas on Thursday nights
After an amazing Spag Bol last week catered by Shaun “Old School” O’Neil, Azza Parker steps up this week for his famous steak sangas. Always a crowd favorite, no one will go home hungry with that on the menu. The club now has EFTPOS and for $10 includes a meal and a drink….. and maybe seconds if you are lucky. So now no excuse for not having cash. No cash, no worries. Look for the poll on the Rangers Facebook for more information.
 
Want to know what is going on? Multiple ways to do so! 
Just a friendly reminder of where you can find Ranger information out there. Check out http://www.wangarattabaseball.com for game reports, courtesy of game changer. A link will be available to this report Team app and Twitter. There is always the Facebook site and of course this little blog if you really really want to know what the characters of the Wangaratta Rangers are up to. I hope to write this fortnightly during the season to get a real idea of who is doing what and all the other exciting things we have planned for the year.
Gilly and the Tin; to put your fines in
The tin is back and already the change is flowing into it. From strike outs to Mick Wyatt saying about a batter that, “he doesn’t want to hit it” , proceeds to hit a home run, wrong coloured socks on home days, to leaving a piece of uniform on the ground, there are plenty of ways that Gilly is looking to fill the coffers. Now we all know it is all in good fun, it’s always good to have a laugh about it after the game each week. So keep working hard at training on Thursday nights and then maybe, just maybe, you may not have to contribute as much as others…..Maybe.
 
Beaker where are you?
Rob “Butts” Seymour and Cam “The Soak” Scott were discussing past players and were wondering where Rob “Beaker” Barbour is hiding. Last year we were able to flush him out for an appearance at a Rangers home game and by writing about him, so hopefully once again it might just be enough to get him down to watch his beloved Rangers. I am sure your read this Beaker, and it would be great to see you and other past players down at Targoora Park over the course of the season.
Beaker and Bunsen 2
Where are you Beaker??
Now for the club stuff
  • Junior training from 5pm Thursday. Senior to follow on Thursday after the completion of juniors. All are welcome.
  • Want to know all that is happening in the juniors? Check out  https://www.facebook.com/wangarattarangersjuniorbaseball/ for all your information and needs
  • EFTPOS facilities available to pay your fees and merchandise. Available each Thursday and game day
  • After each home game dinner is on at our great sponsor Cafe Martini from 5:30 pm. All are welcome.
  • Punters Club returns. Interested? See The Soak for details
  • If you are unavailable place it on Team App of when you cannot play. Just let us know!
  • Rangers u/14 vs Porepunkah at Porepunkah April 28th
  • Rangers Black vs Bears Green at Porepunkah 2:15pm Sunday April 28th Rangers Orange have a the bye
Wow that was a big edition. Exciting times ahead. Till next time you avid readers (Jonno from Wodonga) out there and others……
Go Rangers!

Rounding Third by Line Drive April 3rd 2019

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!
Cod banter
    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!
socks
Socks look pretty good 
The Pufferfish
    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,
Go Rangers

Rounding Third By Line Drive Summer 2019 edition.

Hello and welcome to the summer edition Rounding Third. It feels like it has been an eternity since we last had a chat. However the time is right to let you know what has been going on around the Wangaratta Rangers Baseball/Softball Club. The season is long past in the memory and a new committee has taken over the reins. Well not brand new. Just a few people have been shuffled around into new portfolios. The Ranger Ramble was another highlight and well there has been a plethora of birthdays. But we will get to all of that later. Hope you enjoy the read.

Pool is the new President.

    Local rubber-arm and world traveller Nathan “FOMO” Pool has taken over the top job at Wangaratta Rangers Baseball/Softball Club. Now regular readers know about Nathan’s credentials to be the top dog. 300 games, son of club legend Kevin Pool, a regular at Vic Winter carnivals for North East and regular attendee for CODS masters. Former president Tony “Spinner” Smith has moved over to become the treasurer. All other positions remained the same. A big thank you to Spinner and his work in the past four years as president and to Scott “Daddy Mack” Jenkins who now moves back into general committee from treasurer. Already the club are looking forward to season 2019. The next meeting will be this Friday the 11th of January from 7pm at the clubrooms. All are welcome.

30 is the new forty or is 40 the new 30?

    This year down at the club there has been a plethora of milestone birthdays. This year has seen Nathan Pool, Cam Scott and Mick “The Skipper” Wyatt all celebrate the big 40, while Scott “Big Daddy” Jenkins, Kyle “Thrillmore” Gilmore have celebrated 30. Over the past couple of months, the club has welcomed a couple more with Kelsey “Dropsy” Burder and offsider Sam “Goggles” Grigg joining the 30 brigade. Welcome to your respective clubs gentlemen.

Ranger Ramble VII run and won.

    In 2018 The Rangers end of season trip was another roaring success. The theme was western, and what a theme it was. From gunslinger Scott Jenkins, to Brad Undies Murdoch and Woody, Sam Grigg as Jesse, Jamies Samuels and Rob Seymour as Indians, Cam Scott and Lauren Dinsdale as bar staff, Nathan Pool and Daniel Griffin riding inflatable horses, it seemed everyone had a pair. We not everyone. Kelsey “Dropsy” Burder thought outside the square and came as a Western Bulldog footballer. Pretty inventive the writer thought. Anyhow the trip was to Phillip island and it was a great trip down. Once at San Remo and having the stretch of the legs the crew were met by a Ranger from afar Daniel “Hank Scorpio” McCullough who had flown in from Canada the night before. One thing is for sure Daniel “The Griff” Griffin is a great trip planner and this year did not disappoint. Who won best dressed you ask? Word has it Cam “The Soak” Scott took home the chocolates a source down on the trip tells me. Hope all who ventured down had a wonderful time.

Cod Season    

    Yes yes I have been very quiet since the end of the past winter season but now as the weather is warm our attention turns to the 2019 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival. Once again hosted by those wonderful folks in Ballarat from 15th to 17th of March. Once again the Cods are looking for players for their 35 plus and their 45 plus line ups. There will be a couple of changes this year and one notable absentee will be Line Drive’s close friend Cam “The Soak” Scott. Due to a clash of dates he will not be making the trip. Fear not he will be still soaking it up! However Line Drive’s travelling fans may make another appearance. One knows for sure the Esmond Street boys like a trip to Ballarat for the weekend. Sorry Kelsey you will not see Line Drive and The Soak in the one place once again. For more information on Cods Masters Baseball and if you are interested on donning the Cods uniform check out https://www.facebook.com/Codsmastersbaseball for all your Cods needs.

Wangaratta Rangers juniors

 T-ball has been an exceptional success leading into the Christmas break with on average 30 kids having a crack at t-ball and now into junior baseball. Coaches Nathan Pool, Owen “The Gaffer” Godenzi are impressed with how the kids have taken to the game we all love. Looking at the posts online there has been many positive reviews of how the club is going about the development of baseball in Wangaratta. In the past week a new site has been set up for Junior baseball information. https://www.facebook.com/wangarattarangersjuniorbaseball/ is the link and there will be more content added to the site as we move towards the commencement of t-ball and junior baseball in late January early February. If you are interested in playing please email the club wangarattarangers@hotmail.com. We hope to see you soon down at Targoora Park.

Pickle Ball what is it?

    Now here is something that is completely different to the usual baseball news. Wangaratta’s favourite Canadian import Bryan “Moose” Wilson has been hard at it getting another game he loves off the ground in Wangaratta. The name of the game is pickle ball. The sport combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. It can be played using wooden or composite paddles in singles or doubles configuration. It is played on a court similar to the size of a badminton court and from all reports is a lot of fun. For those who are interested in having a hit for something different check out https://www.facebook.com/Wangaratta-Pickleball-494957764332723/

It’s been a while

I know a few of you out there has been wondering what had happened to Line Drive. He has a quiet few months on the information front. It was another good year for the club where many plans turned into achievements and there are many more good things in the pipeline in 2019. Come to think of it, he just suffered from the curse that was writers block and a little self doubt over whether or not do people like reading about what’s going on in North Eastern Baseball. That has now passed and is now looking forward to getting back into what is going on around the traps. Hope all out there has had a wonderful Christmas and new year period and looking forward to an enjoyable 2019.

Now for the club stuff

  • Committee meeting Friday 11th January from 7pm all are welcome
  • Junior baseball to fire back up late January Early February. more information to follow
  • Cods Masters March 15th to 17th if interested let the Codsters know via their page
  • Know anyone interested in playing drop us a line at wangarattarangers@hotmail.com
  • Check us out on Facebook the web, Twitter and on teamapp.
  • Anyone for golf? Might be time for a hit. Who is keen? Let Cam know

That’s it and till next time

Go Rangers

Rounding Third by Line Drive June 6th 2018

Hello and welcome to the first true winter edition of Rounding Third. Over the past couple of weeks the Rangers teams squared off, with Rangers Black getting the chocolates and bragging rights over their Rangers Orange counterparts. It was a competitive game watched on by a healthy crowd at the annual Ranger family day. The game gave the opportunity for many players to try playinh a different position and have a good hit out against their fellow Rangers brothers and sisters. A big shout needs to go out to “The Pres” Tony “Spinner” Smith who worked tirelessly all day to put on a great show for all the Wangaratta families and supporters. It has been said before, but it needs saying again, clubs are only as good as the people who run them. We are fortunate and very privileged to have the likes of Spinner involved in the club. Now onto other news form the past couple of weeks. Who has been up to what, and other club business.
Listen to Rossco Old School
    In the Orange versus Black game, Shaun “Old School” O’Neil had one of those days that you like to forget. Early on in the game, a fly ball was hit straight up in the air. Nine times out of ten or ninety nine times out of a hundred old school would be a safe bet. However this was the one occasion. Much to the surprise pitcher Jason “Sunscreen” Jonker, the ball spilled out of Old Schools new pristine glove. “Old School” said it was Pooly’s fault and blamed the bird that flew past the sun in the sky, and it being on a Sunday, for missing the catch. Later on in the innings another ball was it up in O’Neil’s direction. Number one pen hater from Porepunkah, Ross “Rossco” Johsnon bellowed, “SHAUN!!!!!!”, making it evidently clear that he needed to catch the next one. Luckily for Shauns wits he did. At the end of the first inning O’Neil’s fielding was all square. Remembering a quote from a previous edition, a poor tradesman blames his tools, Old School.
 
Jenko’s gets a little shirty.
    it was a rather shaky start to the first derby game of the year for the black team. Resident first baseman and man about town, and the state, Cam “The Soak” Scott notified the coaches that it would be best to give up the position to multi sport athlete and coming first baseman, Scott “The Beard” Jenkins. As the game began, Jenko trotted out to right field where Cam was also headed. He was surprised and a little bit dark that he was now playing first base. “No one told me” retorted Jenkins. “Stuff it I will use this glove” was another comment. Fair to say like the aforementioned Shaun O’Neil, the first innings was not all plain sailing. He was still mumbling about it once he came off the diamond. Must be something about playing first base and getting grumpy at Wangaratta!
 
Raining hits for Gilmore
    Current master of the tin Kyle “Can hit more” Gilmore had a day out against the Rangers Black pitchers. Everything he saw was dispatched with ease to all parts of the outfield throughout the game. The only thing stopped him from having a perfect day out with the maple was fellow Esmondian, Kelsey “Dropsie” Burder who certainly did not live up to that nickname with the catch he took to rob Gilly of a perfect day. Slide in, dive forward, take the catch and stick the landing is how you can describe Burders take. Still a great hitting display from one of the Ranger favorites.
New man on the bump
    Over the past few weeks, man of facial hair Brad “Undies” Murdoch, has become a bit of an innings eater for the Rangers Orange guys and girls. It is great to see the big spindly frame of a man get up there and throw strikes. This was first the case in Rangers vs Warriors game a few weeks back and he repeated the efforts in the local derby. It helps when another gets on the hill and gives our wonderful throwers a well deserved rest. Look out for his wicked fast ball! Word is he is developing a second pitch. Wonder if he will call his new pitch the anteater?
 
Where are we going Griff?
    The season is already half gone. Many around Ranger land are now turning their attention to the end of season trip Ranger Ramble VII will be upon us in October. This year was suppose to be a far trip but it has been altered slightly to a mystery trip. At this moment only Daniel “The Griff” Griffin knows where the Ranger faithful are headed. Many think Nathan “FOMO” Pool has guessed the place, but even he is not so sure of where that is. More to the point what will the theme be? After seeing the social media posts of the Esmond street boys and girls, could double denim be the theme? More details will be released soon about the mystery destination.
 
The big 6
    Talk around the dinner table last week always seems to go back to the trip. It was remarked that there are only six Rangers that have been on all six trips. Now they know who they are, but can anyone else outside the inner sanctum of dinner last Thursday night name them? In all honesty there is no surprise who the six are. But will they all make it to Ranger Ramble VII?
 
Round robin round 2018
    The North Eastern Baseball Association had a ‘Cent a Number’ draw and round robin day over the past weekend. Players from all clubs in the association came together to play in mixed teams and have a good fun day of baseball. Judging by the images taken by Daniel Blanchard on the North Eastern Baseball Association Facebook page, it was a cracking day. Others I have spoken to enjoyed the day and welcomed the efforts of all involved in the association. It was a good day for the Ranger family as Jenko took second place and The Pools took 3rd place.
 
Winter Championships are here
    the 2018 Victorian Winter Baseball Championships are here again and the North Eastern Baseball Association have once again put a very competitive side together for their annual pilgrimage to Geelong. Managed once again by Ed Simmons, the North Eastern men are looking to go back to back. This year it looks like it will be a very even division with both Latrobe Valley and Sunraysia putting together strong squads. Don’t count out Dandenong U/23 either. The boys have one game Saturday and two on the Sunday, with the final games on Monday deciding on who takes the shield home in 2018. To all players and supporters who are heading down to Geelong this year, good luck keep warm and most importantly have a good time playing baseball. Line Drive wants to hear about it all when you come back.
Season part 2
    The 2018 North Eastern baseball Association returns after the June long weekend. Both Rangers squads are looking forward to a good second half. Coach Steve “Fernando” Peruzzo and Mick “Skip” Wyatt were impressed with how their chargers, Rangers Orange played in the first seven games. Likewise man of may nicknames and hats Nathan “Rubberarm” Pool with his Rangers Black squad. Aaron “Azza” Parker is looking forward to a big second half as are stalwarts Brendon “Frenchy” French and Brenton “Plugger” Miller. Damien “Junior” French is looking to build on his good start with the bat too. One thing isfor sure, there will be plenty of fun on and off the diamond in the coming ten weeks. Just remember, if you are unavailable please place it on teamapp so the coaches know in advance. As said before the more information the better.
Now onto the club stuff
  • Silver Circle 21st July Tickets available soon
  • Vic Winter Championships June 9-11 Geelong. Good luck to all who are going
  • Seasons recommences Sunday 17th June. Draw up on website this week sometime
  • New caps from Butts are available see his if you want one
  • Subs are now due See Jenko for more details
  • Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors check them out on Teamapp and www.wangarattabaseball.com
  • Training Thursday nights 6pm Targoora Park Murdoch Road Wangaratta. All are welcome
  • Follow on Facebook and Twitter @wangrangers
Well that’s it for this week. Stay warm and if you are participating in winery walkabouts this weekend stay safe.
Go Rangers

Rounding Third By Line Drive May 22nd 2018

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of Rounding Third. The skies were grey over the diamonds of the North Eastern Baseball Association during the weekend, but that did not stop the men and women of the Wangaratta Rangers Baseball Club from heading back up the Hume to Wodonga for the weekend’s round of matches. In the early game, Rangers Black overcame Wodonga Warriors White 28-2. In the late game, Rangers Orange pushed Warriors Maroon right to the end. The final score was 12-5. Once again thank you to the hospitality of Wodonga Warriors and to all our travelling supporters who made the trip. Next week, Rangers Orange will be playing Rangers Black in Wangaratta. More about that later. Now onto what has caught the eye of Line Drive over the past couple of weeks.
Who was that on the screen?
    It may have not been mentioned in a previous edition, but it has not gone unnoticed. The good Doc’s Sean and Sarah Warfe have been living the good life in Canada over the past few weeks. The Warfes were lucky enough to be in attendance to watch the Seattle Mariners no hit the Toronto Blue Jays. Not only was being there awesome but then they were pictured on the jumbo screen of the stadium and the television broadcast. To complete the occasion they got a game ball and a hat signed. Nice work Doc’s. One question to be asked is to the master of the tin, Kyle Gilmore. If you are on television in the states then is that a larger donation to the tin due to exchange rates?
Where is Beaker?
    The question has to be asked. Where is Rob “Beaker” Barbour? Last sighted four weeks ago. Now we all know he is alive but his reasons for not being available are very blunt. The past two weeks have been very simple “No good”. Well  we hope this week you are felling a bit better Beaker. Hope to see you down at he Ranch this coming Sunday.
North Eastern Rep Baseball time 
    It’s back for another year and five Rangers players are heading to Geelong over the long weekend to test themselves against the other Victorian Winter Baseball associations. Last year the boys from Kelly country took out the division 2 title, and are looking to go back to back this year. Once again there has been a fantastic response from those in the competition who have put their hand up and wish to represent the North Eastern Baseball Association. I am lead to believe that it will be a full list of players. The Winter Championships will be held over the Queens birthday long weekend in Geelong. More information in upcoming editions of Rounding Third.
 
Boof visits the Ranger Ranch
    Man of the DBA radio show Rob “Boofa” Bowen made an appearance at Wangaratta a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit of a mission for him to find the ground at first. After organising with Cam ‘The Soak” Scott to meet him at the ground in Murdoch road, Boof got close to the ground and called Cam. Cam assured him the ground was not too far away and keep heading out the road and if you see Ranger man (and now Ranger kid) you are there. Cam arrives at the ground to find no one arrived yet. Another phone call. Boof had driven out 8kms to the new roundabout at Oxley. Finally after a little more two way communication Boof found the ground. He had got tired of the food where he was staying and wanted to come find some baseball people. Lucky for him a good crew turned up in poor conditions for Azza’s Burgers and a good chat. It was great to catch up and talk about all the great things and projects we have in the pipeline for Wangaratta Rangers and North Eastern Baseball. thanks for the visit Boof. Thanks for the kind words on the baseball forum too.
Rangers Family fun day.
    This coming Sunday Rangers Orange play host to Rangers Black in a shootout at Targoora Park. However that is not the only action going on down at The Ranch. It is going to be the annual Wangaratta Rangers Family Day and the club welcomes all players, sponsors and supporters. The flyer below explains what is on offer and your hosts The Wangaratta Rangers hope to see you all there. The game begins at 1:45pm. Rangers Orange will be looking to get some revenge on Rangers Black. As always it will be a competitive game played in great spirit. Spread the word. The more spoken about Wangaratta Baseball, the better.
rangers family day
Cent a number returns.
    The good folk who run The North Eastern baseball Association currently have a little cent a number raffle going on. The premise is simple. Take an envelope, open the envelope, whatever the ticket number that’s how much you pay. An example is if you draw ticket 650 then the cost of the ticket is $6.50. Simple? The cent a number draw is going to be held down at Targoora Park Wangaratta on Sunday 3rd of June. Discounted drinks and food will be provided. If you want a ticket please get in contact with anyone who plays in the North Eastern Baseball Association. All clubs have tickets to sell. Your involvement in the association is appreciated.
Round Robin 3rd of June
    In case you have noticed on the Facebook site on Sunday 3rd of June in conjunction with the cent a number draw the North Eastern Baseball Association will be holding a round robin day. Players from all clubs are encouraged and warmly invited to make themselves available where shortened games of baseball with mixed teams will take to the diamonds of Targoora Park. Each club is looking for numbers and I know at Wangaratta, there has been a call out for players who are available. So if you are available please support the association and their efforts. if you are interested in coming down for a look and  buy a ticket in the cent a number raffle then that would be great too.
Thursday night feeds
    As mentioned before the Thursday night feeds have been impressive. However things are heading towards the depths of winter and the meals are slowing down. For those who travel to train and play, the Thursday night feed is fantastic, as at times, one who travels may not arrive home till after 9:30pm. This week will dinner be snags and bread. It doesn’t matter what you cook, it is all about getting together having a chat and laugh together after training. If you just do one for the year then that is one less someone else chooses to do. If you do choose to provide a meal the club will reimburse you for your efforts.
Merchandise update
    Yes it’s all about the merch down at Targoora Park. Beanies are still available from Scott “Thirtysomething” Jenkins and new caps have been order by “Boston” Rob Seymour. Boston thinks he has found the holy grail of caps and when they arrive they will look great. If you wish to order other items please talk to radio personality Nathan Pool about warm up tops, numbered playing tops and just for a good chat really. A big thank you to our sponsors for their support of the club. Check out wangarattabaseball.com for more details about our sponsors or download Teamapp and search for Wangaratta Rangers.
Now to the club stuff
  • Rangers Family day this Sunday from 1pm all are welcome Targoora Park.
  • If you are unavailable to play, please use Teamapp to say you are unavailable. If you do not say anything, then the coaches assume you are ready to play. More communication means the better for all.
  • Fees are due, see Scotty for more information.
  • Cent a number tickets available, see a club member for your ticket or email the club wangarattarangers@hotmail.com
  • Round Robin day Sunday 3rd of June in conjunction with cent a number draw.
  • Victorian Winter Baseball Championships June long weekend in Geelong.
  • Training Thursday night 6pm All welcome.
A bit of a different one this week. Sometimes you need to plug all the good things that clubs do and all the good folk who love to play baseball in the north east of the state.
Till next time 
Go Rangers