1936 signed baseball from the first interstate games played between Western Australia and Victoria
A 1936 baseball from the first interstate competition between Victoria and Western Australia. The aged leather baseball is discoloured and signed by members of both State teams. The ball sits on a wooden eggcup-shaped plinth attached to a round base made from a slice of mulga tree. The round base is cracked.
Attached to the underside of the base is a gold-coloured sticker which depicts a boomerang below a map of Australia. On the image of Australia is a crown and the words 'Crown mulga Australian wood'.
In 1936 a Victorian baseball team, under the managership of Mr. R. R. Hindson (V.B.A. Council chairman), accepted Western Australia's invitation to play exhibition games in Perth, including three 'Tests' against the local association. Western Australia, playing interstate baseball for the first time, astounded the visiting Victorians by the calibre of their batting and general defence. The Victorian team were successful in winning two of the three Tests played at Gloucester Park and the WACA Ground. The first test was won by Victoria 6-5. In the second test, with ex-Victorian 'Mick' Carr on the mound for W.A., the Victorians got the shock of their lives and were beaten 8-4. Victoria, on their mettle, gave nothing away in the third and final test, which they won 12-6. Mr Hindson, commenting on the play, said he was astounded by the high standard attained in so short a time, as the sport was still in its first year in Perth.
National Library of Australia [https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/189611296]; [https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/40962912]
'H. Denford, F. Oliver, G. Dunstan, R. Denford, C. Witton, J. Scharf, G. Evans, L. Fisher, M. Carr, R. Courtney, G. Bowers, R. Wilberforce, O. Lovelock, W. Lynch, A. Downing, G. Dickinson, G. Randell' [Signatures of WA team members]
[Signatures of Victorian team members - indecipherable]
This 1936 baseball bears the signatures of both Victorian and Western Australian teams in W.A.'s first-ever baseball contest against another State. The following year W.A. competed in their first interstate Claxton Shield Championship Series against New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
The 17 West Australian baseball players who were chosen to participate in one match or another against the Victorian team in 1936 were: R. Denford (Captain), G. Bowers, R. Wilberforce, A. Downing, L. Fisher, G. Dickinson, R. Courtney, F. Oliver, C. Witton, G. Randall, G. Dunstan, H. Denford, J. Scharf, D. Carr (Vice-Captain), W. Lynch, G. Evans, O. Lovelock.
The Victorian players were H. Parkin (Captain), C. Scott, J. Ferguson, G. Heron, C. Johnson, T. Melling, C. Boulton (Vice-Captain), H. King, L. Smith, T. Ruddell, J. Middleton, A. Logan.
The baseball was donated to the Baseball WA Museum & Archives by the family of George Dickinson, a member of the 1936 team. George played baseball from the 1930s to the 1950s. He was inducted into the Australian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and was an inaugural inductee into the Baseball WA Hall of Fame in 2021.
The baseball is a rare object from the first series of interstate baseball games played between Western Australia and Victoria in 1936. It therefore has historic as well as social significance. For its age it is in good condition and still displays signatures of members of both State teams. Its provenance is excellent, having been in the possession of George Dickinson, a member of the team, since that time.
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- 1954 South Perth Baseball Club 'A' Grade team
- 1938 Press Baseball Team Premiers' pewter tankard
- 1973 Australian Baseball Team cap
- 1953 Fremantle Braves Night Baseball Series cap
- 1993 17th Asian Baseball Championship Series commemorative medals
- 1952 Australian Baseball Championship Series programme
- 1951 Commonwealth Jubilee Baseball Championship Series programme
- Wooden baseball bat signed by the 1985 Australian Baseball Team
- 1959 Australian Baseball Championship Series program