THE BERWICK DODGERS BASEBALL CLUB
The Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club was founded in 1989 and was affiliated with the Dandenong Baseball Association in the same year. The Club was subsequently incorporated in 1990 as the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club Inc. That same year, while playing at the Hallam Primary School, the Berwick Dodgers won their first flag for the Club, the ‘B’ Grade premiership. From there the Club advanced to field an ‘A’ Grade team as well as ‘C’,’D’, and ‘E’ grades. The year 1990 also laid the foundation for the junior section of the Club when the inaugural under 12 team took the field
Subsequent years saw the Club play its home games at Berwick Secondary College (1991-1992) and Akoonah Park (1993-1995). Growth in the Club in the early 1990’s was strong and by 1996 the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club boasted 5 senior men’s teams, 5 U12 teams, 2 U14 teams, and 2 U16 teams. Pennant success in those years was very lean indeed until the ‘A’ Grade and the U14’s broke through for premiership success in 1995.
The year 1995 was also significant for the Berwick Dodgers, as the club laid claim to its present home ground and clubrooms at Cyril Molyneux Reserve. The gala opening of the Clubrooms was held on the 26th. May 1996.
The summer of 1995/96 saw the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club establish summer baseball in the City of Casey. Through a sub-committee of the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club Inc., teams were entered in the VBA summer league for the first time.
Another first for baseball in the City of Casey was achieved by the Berwick Dodgers when the club fielded its inaugural Women’s team in the DBA competition in 1998. Success for the girls did not take long, when, after being unlucky runners-up in 1999, they secured the premiership flag in 2000. Women’s baseball is an integral and important part of the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club.
Pennant success by the ‘A’ Grade was again achieved in 1997 and 1998. The ‘A’ Reserve Grade, not to be out done, took home their first pennant in 1999.
In that same year the Berwick Dodgers restructured itself to once again become a winter baseball club. The summer sub-committee formed itself into a new baseball club incorporating itself as the Casey Dodgers Baseball Club and continued playing in the VBA summer season. Subsequently, in the summer of 2001, the Casey Dodgers changed their club name to the Berwick City Cougars Baseball Club Inc.
The year 2000 saw the Berwick Baseball Club achieve a DBA first, when they won both the men’s ‘A’ Grade and the Women’s Grade Premiership flags in the same season. The club also won its first U12 flag in the same year.
Season 2000 was also an Olympic year in Australia. The City of Casey, with the help of local community organizations, hosted the inaugural Edwin Flack Games. A former resident of Berwick, Edwin Flack was Australia’s first gold medallist. The City of Casey invited high school teams from its sister cities from around the world to send sporting teams to Berwick for the games. The Berwick Dodgers hosted the Baseball Tournament for the games and invited teams from the Dandenong Baseball Association, The Victorian State Secondary Schoolboys Association, the City of Casey (represented by the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club) and Springfield, Ohio, USA. The Springfield team was home hosted by members of the club and history was made in the opening game of the tournament when the Berwick Dodgers defeated Springfield, Ohio, USA 5-3 .The tournament was held over 3 days with the VSSSA defeating Springfield, Ohio in a hard fought final.
|1989-1990 M Lowe||1989-1993 M Wearne||1989-1990 P Kilner||1998 – M. Wearne|
|1991- K Smith||1994-1999 – B Cusack||1991- Mrs P Koppel||2004 – B Cusack|
|1992-M Wearne||2000-2002 – S Wearne||1992-1996 R Koppel|
|1993-1996 – J Carmody||2003-2004 – E Medwin||1997-1999 – T Van Iersal|
|1997-1998- R Koppel||2005- K Mills||2000-2001- B Cusack|
|1999-2001- J Howe||2006- S Wearne||2002-2004- T Cusack|
|2002- D Brick||2007-2009- M Wearne||2005-2006- B Cusack|
|2003-2006- M Wearne||2010-2014- S Bryant||2007-2009- J Howe|
|2007-2008- B Cusack||2010-2014- S Wearne|
|2009- I Gavin|
|2010-2011- B Bartlett|
|2012- M Wearne|
|2013- B Barnett|
|2014- C Boucher|
Berwick Dodgers “Best Clubman Award”— the Keith Smith Trophy
This prestigious trophy was named in honour of Keith Smith in 1990. Keith was an enthusiastic junior parent in the formative years of the Berwick Dodgers. Keith was largely responsible for the early fundraising and sponsorships that enabled the Club to buy vital equipment and to secure a sound public profile in the community.
The Rob Hogan Pitching Award
This award was introduced in 1999 in honour of the outstanding achievements of Berwick Dodgers player Rob Hogan. The award was initiated by the Committee of the Berwick Dodgers Baseball Club to recognize the contribution and achievements of Rob Hogan to that part of the game which he has excelled at, that being, the art of pitching.
Rob Hogan’s achievements over recent years have been four D.B.A. ‘A’Grade Premierships with the Berwick Dodgers, the D.B.A.’s O’Brien Medal (Best & Fairest), an A.B.L. national league premiership with the Melbourne Reds, Victorian Claxton Shield and Australian representation.
The criteria of this award are thus ” to recognize the contribution and the achievement of pitchers to individual teams and or the club”.