Playing Coach – Neil Phillips. 39 Games as Coach Regular Season: 24 Wins – 8 Losses – 3 Draws Finals: 3 Wins – 1 Loss Winning Percentage 0.692 Coach of 1997 Premiership Team 188 PA’s, 160 AB’s 51 Runs, 50 Hits, 9 2B’s, 1 3B, 2 HR’s, 42 RBI’s 0.388 Batting Average, 0.436 On Base %. 1990.
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Playing Coach – Neil Phillips 39 Games as Coach Regular Season: 24 Wins – 8 Losses – 3 Draws Finals: 3 Wins – 1 Loss Winning Percentage 0.692 Coach of 1997 Premiership Team 188 PA’s, 160 AB’s 51 Runs, 50 Hits, 9 2B’s, 1 3B, 2 HR’s, 42 RBI’s 0.388 Batting Average, 0.436 On Base %
Club President – Peter Ritchie • Club Secretary – Mark Davies • Club Treasurer – Bob Pringle • Senior Coach(s) – Peter Ritchie (?) Ted Barkmeyer (?) • Dodgers pick up ex players Cameron Bell and Gary Ahdore as well as Gerard O’Dowd and Scott Burton in May as Cubs Baseball Club implodes. All go on to successfully shape the club over the coming years.
In August, the Strathfieldsaye Shire completes the Strathfieldsaye Sports Complex. • In discussions with the Shire Manager Barry Edwards, Ted Barkmeyer makes enquiries as to the possibility of a baseball field within the new complex. • Indications were that there may be a suitable area and dimensions were roughly stepped out and the foundations of our Field of Dreams looked excellent. • Many meetings and quotes were obtained for the fencing, sand, excavating and other jobs.
The first of many working bees was arranged to burn the long grass and bushes before grading. • The levelling of the ground took place when Brian Keogh removed the top soil. • In consultation with engineer Alistair Stirling, the sprinkler system and drainage was designed. • It looked as if we might have grass sown before Christmas. • It wasn’t to be due to an engineering cock-up, bloody engineers, and 1991 was upon us. • In better news for the Cruse family, current A – Grader Jason Cruse is born.
Dodgers A - Grade • Regular Season, 5 Wins – 6 Losses • Finals, 1st Semi Final, Dodgers 13 – Falcons 3 Preliminary Final, Scots 11 – Dodgers 3
Club President – Peter Ritchie • Club Secretary – Graham Wells • Club Treasurer – Christine Ritchie • Senior Coach(s) – Peter Ritchie (?) Ted Barkmeyer (?) • The ground continued to take shape in early 1991. • 5 trenches for drainage of the infield from shortstop to the first base line are begun.
A new member to the club and his 2 boys spent one of the hottest days of the summer digging a metre square hole which happened to be the hardest clay soil on the field. • The sprinkler layout was marked and dug out by machine and cleaned out by shovel. • The following weekend was another scorcher but the attendance at the working bee was terrific and the jobs completed after an 8am-7pm working day, the ground had water! • The field was top dressed and sowed and the ground was taking shape.
Time for the fence. • We had great difficulty negotiating the outfield curve but eventually it was solved. • A team of 7 club members put up the 7, 24 foot back net poles by hand. • Ex. Club member Scott Hall did a terrific job constructing the dugouts in very trying conditions. • The base paths were excavated and packed with a special sand mix of 11 herbs and spices. • By the end of 1991 the Field of Dreams was ready.
Some ‘91 Babies include current players Geoff Holland and Nick Whatley. • A Grade are competitive but drop a classic tussle 16-15 to Scots in the semi final in 11 digs.
Dodgers A - Grade • Regular Season, 9 Wins – 10 Losses – 1 Draw • Finals, Semi Final, Scots 16 – Dodgers 15 (11 innings) *****
Pitcher – Cail Tuckerman 45 (68) Games 25 Wins – 9 Losses – 2 Saves 14-0 in 1997 Winning Pitcher in 1997 Grand Final Batting Average – 0.318
Catcher – Cameron ‘Billy’ Bell 51 (69) Games 199 Plate Appearances 177 At Bats 47 Runs 44 Hits, 15 Doubles, 2 Triples, 3 Home Runs 33 RBI’s Batting Average – 0.362 On Base % - 0.417
Club President – Peter Ritchie • Club Secretary – Barry Sessions • Club Treasurer – Leigh Monro • Senior Coach(s) – Peter Ritchie Ted Barkmeyer
In a season of change, Dodgers not only have a new home ground, but the Dodgers Dugout makes a long awaited comeback under the tutelage of chief editor, Robert Pringle. • Dodgers play their first game at Strathfieldsaye, dropping an exhibition game vs Dandenong Valley 11-3.
A Grade is pummelled 19-0 by Bendigo East prompting coaches Peter Ritchie and Ted Barkmeyer to stand aside in favour of Peter Lewis and Gary Ahdore in an attempt to try and improve the A Grade team. • It seemed to work temporarily, as after opening the season 0-5, A Grade beat Scots. • We all know it was cold and we all rush around to keep warm, but do we all race off and leave our wife & daughter without a ride? To answer this, just ask any member of the Skipper family! • Leigh Cassidy has a nasty altercation with the soccer goal posts in a warm up for A Grade.
10 Dodger players ventured to KF health centre recently to see how fit they were. From one account the boys had a terrific time checking out the scenery (perving), but they found out they had muscles they hadnt even used and they werent too fit either!! • Best wishes were extended to Rose Davies after she slipped at work and dislocated her shoulder! Ouch • Overheard on the bench during a C Grade game in Shepparton as a Divvie van pulled up: Here comes your A Grade side Louis. It was one of those years!
Whilst A Grade missed the finals, B Grade and C Grade were premiership contenders. • The ‘Dream Team’ of C Grade broke the clubs 13 year premiership drought by winning the C grade title 16-9 over Bendigo East. • B grade weren’t so lucky dropping a heart breaker to Bendigo East in 9 innings! • The after match celebrations at Rothos place was a night to remember, especially for Graham Wells who fell in love with Rotho’s dog Brodie for some particular reason.
And just who was it, after a very hard day of catching, then a harder night of drinking, dropped his trousers and gave a three arm wave after getting a lift home from a demure lady of the club? • Club Champion – Gary Ahdore • A Grade MVP – Luke Barkmeyer • A Grade Batting Title – Gerard O’Dowd
Dodgers A - Grade It was a season to forget for A Grade. • Regular Season, 3 Wins – 12 Losses • No Finals!!!
Club President – Ivan Merrick • Club Secretary – Brett Eastwood • Club Treasurer – Ian Trevorah • Senior Coach – Peter Lewis • Severe floods in November 1992 caused most of the diamond to be washed away and a total rebuild was required. • The club was embroiled in an on going saga to have the ground partially lit for night training. The first light pole was put up in February.
In a now annual occurrence, Dodgers loose to Dandenong Valley in a preseason game. • It was noted that very few senior players appear to have learnt anything from the pre-season training with only 1 senior and 1 junior team winning the first game of the season. • In a sign that the move to Strathfieldsaye was worth it, as well as fielding a Sunday U/12 team the club also has a 4 team Saturday U/12 competition. • Some notable U/12’s included Stuart Ritchie, Mark Stewart, Josh Davies, Jacoby McDonald, Boyd Dellwo, Craig Eeles, Luke Oxlade and David Jamieson.
Similar to 1992, A Grade open the season 0-5 before beating Falcons. We did actually win 1 game but it was by forfeit which doesn’t really count! • Gerard O’Dowd is ejected for using foul language on third strike call in a game vs Scots. • Jethro ‘Dont Call me Keith’ Lamb nearly sends Rod Moon into orbit with a patented linebacker move at home plate at the Hen House. Hopefully he took note of the ‘you gotta get off the tracks when the trains coming through’ in his semi conscious state. Jethro repeated the feat later in the season vs an Eaglehawk catcher.
Trent Blackwell finally is cleared to Dodgers after a lengthy delay in getting a clearance from Eaglehawk. • Who was the well known A Grade pitcher seen getting in plenty of practice for Sunday, having a good chuck 10.30pm Friday night? GA? • A highlight of a particular C Grade game had Roger Dellwo performing a hook slide into home plate, there was be a demonstration replay at practice the following week.
The club mourns the passing of ex President and great club man Arthur Kilcullen. • B Grade follow up the success of the C graders from 1992 by winning the premiership over Bendigo East. • In a another lamentable season A Grade don’t play finals! • Club Champion – Stuart Ritchie • A Grade MVP – Luke Barkmeyer • A Grade Batting Title – Greg Rothenberger • A Grade Best Team Player – Leigh Monro
Dodgers A - Grade • Regular Season, 2 Wins – 12 Losses – 1 Draw • No Finals!!! ****
First Base – Greg Rothenberger 55 Games 211 Plate Appearances, 189 At Bats 43 Runs, 66 Hits, 17 Doubles, 3 Triples, 58 RBI’s Batting Average – 0.450 On Base % - 0.475 Pitching 5 Wins – 10 Losses – 4 Saves
Second Base – Brett Ritchie 57 (67) Games 280 Plate Appearances, 210 At Bats 80 Runs, 65 Hits, 11 Doubles, 1 Triple, 1 HR, 44 RBI’s 59 Walks Batting Average – 0.371 On Base % - 0.514 Pitching 4 Wins – 0 Losses Member of 1997 & 1999 Premiership Teams
Third Base – Danny Whittle 78 (100) Games 381 Plate Appearances, 295 At Bats 99 Runs, 74 Hits, 21 Doubles, 2 Triples, 55 RBI’s 58 Walks, 21 Hit By Pitched Balls 24 Stolen Bases Batting Average – 0.329 On Base % - 0.462 Member of 1997 & 1999 Premiership Teams
Short Stop – Stuart Ritchie 53 Games 260 Plate Appearances, 226 At Bats 73 Runs, 65 Hits, 12 Doubles, 4 Triples, 1 HR, 56 RBI’s Batting Average – 0.363 On Base % - 0.431 Pitching 5 Wins – 4 Losses – 1 Save Member of 1997 & 1999 Premiership Teams
Club President – Peter Ritchie • Club Secretary – Brett Eastwood • Club Treasurer – Bob Pringle • Senior Coach – Ron Sharp • 4 New Life Members are elected in Pat & Elaine Murphy, Bob Pringle & Christine Ritchie.
Heavy rain again washes away the diamond, requiring another re-building effort. • Dandenong Valley continue to own us, winning the preseason game 19-7. • In a shock move, A Grade stalwart Greg Rothenberger requests and is granted a clearance to Bendigo East. • The Saturday U/12 comp is expanded to 5 teams including the Cannonballs, Lakers, White Sox, Giants and Peter Lewis’s very own Poobars. • Andrew McKinley, Mark Eeles & Corey Hague are among the new players. • The storage shed is completed mid year.
The new A Grade coach phoned new bridegroom to be on the morning of his wedding to congratulate him. He was surprised to hear another Dodger player answer the phone and that it was ok, he had phone the right number and the prospective bridegroom was in bed with him! That’s taking the best man role a bit too far but what a bucks night!!! • Murph brought his dog Gus along to a game for a bit of an outing. Ferret didnt notice that Gus had used his breast plate as a toilet and peed all over it! Gus thought Ferret didnt mind so he used his warm up jacket later on for the same job! Was ferret upset?? Of course not!!
Some notable games: • Bendigo East 22 – Dodgers 19 in 8 innings. Greg Rothenberger’s 4 hits including a homerun and 4 RBI’s don’t help our cause. • Dodgers triumph 45 - 0 over Eaglehawk in 6 innings against 8 players including 3 girls! • A decent 5-2 start for A Grade slowly deteriorated but they still made the finals. • After defeating Scots 16 – 6, A Grade succumb to Shepparton 17-6, with Gary Ahdore and Mark Davies getting yellow card! Tut tut. • B Grade are Premiers again beating Bendigo East 7-4 in a hard fought scrap.
Club Champion – Danny Whittle • A Grade MVP – Luke Barkmeyer • A Grade Batting Title – Gary Ahdore • A Grade Best Team Player – Trent Blackwell • The club introduces a new award at seasons end, the Dummy Spitters Award. • Inaugarel winners include Luke Barkmeyer, Trent Blackwell, Gary Ahdore, Cameron Pringle, Peter Lewis, John Skipper, Geoff Shaw, Ron Sharp, Danny Whittle, Chris Murphy and the father of modern Dummy Spits, Mark Davies.
Dodgers A - Grade • Regular Season, 9 Wins – 11 Losses • Finals, 1st Semi Final, Dodgers 16 – Scots 6 • Preliminary Final, Shepparton 17 – Dodgers 6
Club President – Mark Davies • Club Secretary – Ted Barkmeyer • Club Treasurer – Marree McKinley • Senior Coach – Peter Ritchie • The Pithie’s welcome their first child, with ‘big boy, oh boy, wow weee’ Timothy Colin being born at 9lb 3 oz. • A Grade’s Josh Cruse is also born.
Cail Tuckerman is cleared to Dodgers from Falcons. • The BBA makes a proactive move by bringing in Saturday/Sunday doubleheaders. Dodgers first was in Shepparton where we lost 7-5 on the Saturday, went boozing in Shepp on the Saturday night and came out and smashed the Suns 16-6 on the Sunday. • Work progresses on the batting tunnel. • Scott Burton gets a yellow card after being called out on strikes and an innings later is ejected after again being called out on strikes! • Jason Gallagher & John Petri (Shepparton) are both ejected for shenanigans.
Scott Burton gets another yellow a week later vs Falcons for equipment abuse. • Aaron Crawford gets a yellow card for cross bow abuse vs Bendigo East. • A great night out was held at the pokies at Rich River. Apparently a ‘bloke’ at the club said something unkind to Shane Burns who grabbed him by the throat and was about to reply to his comments with a closed fist, when Teddles stepped in to quieten things down. As Ted turned around to leave this ‘bloke’ touched Ted on the behind and tried to make a date. Ted declined the offer!