ESSENDON BASEBALL CLUB 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
Les (Doc) Smith
Joined Essendon as a player in 1926 and played with the Club until 1946
- Gained interstate selection honours in 1931 & 1936
- Won the Lansdowne Medal (VBA Best Player) in 1936
- Pitched a no hitter and faced the minimum 27 batters in a nine innings game against Northcote on 11 July 1946. A perfect game was spoiled by the issuing of a sixth innings base on balls, but ‘Doc’ did his best to rectify the walk by catching the runner off the base with a pick off.
- Life Member of the Essendon Club in 1956
Robert Rowan is described as a silky left handed pitcher
- Started playing with Essendon as a junior in 1959 and finished playing A grade in 1975
- Won the George Heron trophy three times, runner twice and was named in the 1972 All-Star team.
- Represented Victoria in 1968, again from 1970-1973 and followed up in 1975.
- Pitching Coach from 1978 to 1982 and represented Australia on eight occasions
Started at Essendon as a young player
- EBC MVP 1949/50/51
- V.B.A MVP Runner-up 1950/52/54
- Played Claxton shield for multiple number of years, first as a starting pitcher and then was a successful outfielder
- Played for Australia and was a starting pitcher
- Was selected in the 1956 Olympic team, however as he had accepted an airfare to play in a charity game in South Australia, he was deemed to be a professional and therefore he couldn’t play
- A regular player in the firsts for many years.
- Coached in the mid 70’s
- Life member
Norm was named as the starting left fielder in the Victorian Claxton Shield “Team of the Century”
- He was a member of the Australian team that played the exhibition baseball game at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games on the MCG.
- Represented Victoria between 1945 and 1956 and was a prominent player at the Essendon and Coburg Baseball Clubs, including a membership in the Essendon Team of the Century.
- Played with the Essendon firsts for many years
- Life Member
A lifetime of contribution to Essendon and Victorian baseball coaching, playing and administration
- Played and coached Essendon
- Life Member
- Represented Victorian State teams as a player or coach from 1946-69.
- One of the first players (RHP) scouted and offered a contract by a US Major League Baseball Club, the Red Sox.
- First Australian born professional scout.
- Australian coach / captain 1956 Olympic Games.
- First Australian coach to visit US Major League Baseball clubs for coach education in the 1960s.
Ron commenced baseball with Essendon in 1958 in U16 aged 11. The team was coached by Alec McIntyre – Leigh’s father.
- Started playing in the firsts in 1962
- Won Essendon’s Best Player award in 1966
- From 1969 until 1974 Ron lived in Hobart and then returned to Melbourne and resumed playing with Essendon
- Selected in 6 Claxton shield teams during which time he won the Helms award and Australian team selection.
First played for Essendon aged 10 (1936)
- Various junior state sides
- Commenced A grade career aged 20 retiring at 40 continuing to be involved coaching and at committee level.
- Position mainly centre field.
- Represented Victoria on numerous occasions from the 40s to 60s
- Highlighted with an unassisted triple play against Western Australia
- Represented Australia in the 1956 Olympics v USA.
- Life Member
- Also played district cricket with Essendon for many years as in those days, baseball was a winter sport.
First started with Essendon in 1976 when he came down from Bendigo
- Victorian representative at Junior and Claxton Shield level.
- Victorian Provincial Baseball League Representative at Junior and Senior level.
- Essendon Baseball Club MVP winner
- Multiple winner of EBC Batting Title
- Led Victoria’s hitting in the 1979 Claxton Shield with a .333 average
- Played in excess of 300 EBC First Grade games commencing with the 1976 Winter Season and finishing in the 1993/94 Summer Season
- Assistant Coach of the 1988/89 Premiership winning Team
- Runner up in Baseball Victoria’s (VBA) Best Player Award
- Played in an Australian Representative Team (comprising mainly Victorian’s) against a touring Japanese Team in 1979
- Life Member
- Plays Masters
Along with Leigh McIntyre and John Pate, Russell was a member of the inaugural “Golddiggers” team that was formed in 1994. The “Diggers” are still in existence today and John and Russell continue to compete in the Victorian Masters Competition and also at various Masters tournaments held around Australia.
First played in 1967 at the age of 7 in the under 13
- U/13 state side 1971/2
- Various state junior squads
- Started A grade Essendon 1976 until 1996 : positions – short stop / second base / centre field / first base
- Division 1 premiership 1989/1990
- Division 1 George Heron Medal MVP 1992/3
- Essendon MVP 1992/3
- Played in the ABL with Melbourne Bushrangers
- Currently still attempting to play Masters
First started with Essendon in 1976 and was recruited from Ballarat following a pitching outing with Victorian Provincial Under 17 team
- Member of the inaugural Australian Under 19 that toured Florida USA
- Member of 1990 Premiership team
- Coached the 2nds team to a premiership in 1991
- 3 time Club Champion
- Played over 350 games for Essendon
- Life Member
- Played with the Melbourne Monarchs in the inaugural ABL competition (1988)
- Represented Victoria in the Claxton Shield in 1983
Leigh ‘Tubers’ McIntyre started playing with Essendon in 1955 as a junior and in 1960 played in an U14 side with Garry Bitmead – a team coached by their fathers, which won a premiership against Preston.
- At 16 he played his first A Grade game against South Melbourne.
- His first hit in A grade baseball was against Coburg on the Coburg Football Ground. He played at left field in that game. He was in and out of A Grade for a number of years playing 3rd base, outfield and also a little pitching.
- He moved to Sunshine in 1972 for three years as a pitcher and then returned to Essendon in 1975 as Essendon’s First IX Pitcher.
- Leigh played in the Victorian Claxton Shield team in 1978 and continued to do so for the next eight years.
- In 1980 he made the Australian side and over the next six years, toured Japan, Korea, America and Canada with the national team.
- He then coached Essendon for a season and continued playing A Grade Baseball until around 1993.
- When his two sons started playing, he coached juniors for a number of years.
- He was Pitching Coach of the Claxton Shield team for a few years as well as State Junior Pitching Coach. He was also Pitching Coach for the “Rubber Ball Team” in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
- Leigh was pivotal in ensuring the new synthetic surface on the club’s field was installed correctly; keeping workers on their toes to make sure it was perfect.
- Leigh’s involvement with EBC continues to the present day; helping out wherever he can, throwing batting practice on several days each week, working on the field and generally doing whatever the clubs needs.
John ‘Chopper’ Pate started playing at Essendon in 1962 after telling his mum that if she didn’t find a baseball team for him to play with he was going back to Japan (at the age of 11). Thankfully his mum found Essendon!
- First played A Grade in 1966
- Club Coach at Essendon from 1976 to 1982
- He represented Victoria in Claxton Shield from 1975 to 1978
- Essendon Club Champion in 1977, 1981 and 1982
- Has played for Essendon continuously since age of 12 and still plays usually twice a week at the age of 63
- It is estimated that he has played over 1,500 games for Essendon and around 2,500 all up over his career including state sides and winter competitions.
- He remains a valued mentor for many of the club’s most talented juniors as well as those who have just recently discovered baseball for the first time.
Along with Leigh McIntyre and Russell Edwards, John was a member of the inaugural “Golddiggers” team that was formed in 1994. The “Diggers” are still in existence today and John and Russell continue to compete in the Victorian Masters Competition and also at various Masters tournaments held around Australia. This season the “Diggers” won their 12th Australian Masters Games Grand Final.
Garry started playing in 1960 in an U14 side with Leigh McIntyre – a team coached by their fathers, which won a premiership against Preston.
- At 16 he commenced his senior playing career as a middle infielder
- He played his first game in A Grade in the 1967/68 season with Ross Straw as coach
- He was a Junior state representative
- He was Club champion at Essendon in 1986/87
- He has been Essendon’s junior coach for 40 years – a role that he continues to the present day and was also a State junior coach for 10 years
- Played in the 1988/89 Premiership team
- Coached seniors in the early 1990’s taking Essendon to the 1995/96 A grade Premiership
- Garry was a highly respected Victorian Institute of Sport coach
- He enjoyed a stint overseas coaching in the USA in spring training for the Angels and at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma
- He has coached at Australian Baseball League level with the Melbourne Bushrangers
- He has been senior coach at Melbourne University for 40 years and he is arguably the most respected junior coach in Australia.
Garry has had direct and significant influence over seven major league players and multiple professional players and Australian representatives.
Started playing with Essendon in 1984 at age 10
- Player in various junior state teams
- Club champion 3 times – 1995/96, 1998/99 & 2000/01
- Member of the U/19 AAA team – Windsor Canada
- Played with ABL team Melbourne Monarchs
- Life Member
- Club Person of Year 2008/09
- EBC Junior coach numerous years
- Ground Manager for 2 years
- Premiership player Division 1 in 1995-96 and Division 2 in 1996/97
Came to Essendon after being recruited by Garry Bitmead
- Caught for the club from 1985 to 1996 during which time EBC won 2 A grade premierships in 88/89 96/97 and B grade in 94/95
- Club Champion 3 times.
- From 1991 to 1993 played with Melbourne Monarchs and the Bushrangers in the ABL
- Played for Australia against Japan in 1990
- Essendon Baseball Club President since 2008
- Played and caught in this seasons Essendon’s winter B grade grand final at the age of 48 and he has also coached the Summer Div 1 Reserves team to a Grand Final win.
- Still playing in the masters and the fourths,
- Has pitched and caught in most of the grades and Masters over the past 5 years.