1987/88 - VBA Division 2 Premiership

The Melbourne Baseball Club has kept the promise it made to its members at the end of the ‘86/87 season – that we would spend one year only in Division 2. The identical situation occurred in 1957 when the Demons of that year finished last in the top grade, were relegated, and then won the ’58 flag.

At the commencement of this ‘87/88 campaign, Manager Ross Arthur and his assistant coach Alan Seiler called a meeting of all players and officials to set out the Club’s aim for immediate return to Division 1. The players showed their fierce desire by dominating the final series and crushing Doncaster by a margin of 15-4 in the Grand Final to go through undefeated in the post-season games.

There is a full realization that the results of this year are but stage one in the overall plan for the Demon rejuvenation as a whole. Players are now being interviewed regarding their potential switch to Demon colours, and a total overhaul and re-evaluation has been put into progress for season 1988/89… our CENTENARY YEAR.

Let’s not however overlook the joys that this season has brought the Club. The final series produced great performances from all players, with the dominating and controlled pitching of Grant Weir in the 1st Nine and Jeff Cull in the Reserves being a major factor. Added to this was clearly superior defence of the Melbourne players in all grades and the dominance in the batting box of the Demon attack. As may be seen from the players’ statistics, the hitting of the senior squad throughout the season, and in the Grand Final proved fat too strong in this division.

Finally the season must be seen as complete justification for the continual demand for excellence applied to the players by coaches Ross Arthur and Alan Seiler. Both Ross and Alan stressed the point that playing in Division 2 made it easier to perform well and become self-satisfied with your efforts. Playing in this grade is a drain on concentration levels, and although some at times showed frustration at the demands made on them, they certainly were in agreeance that the result achieved on the last Sunday in March made it all worthwhile.

We now look forward with great expectation to our Centenary Season of 1988/89. Planning is now in progress to ensure that this milestone in Victorian Baseball will be celebrated with not only renewed zest on the playing field, but our off-field efforts will be both memorable and exciting to be part of. Your Committee in both the Senior and Junior areas is fully aware of the magnitude of the occasion and are now beginning the planning and detailing needed to make sure that nothing is left to chance. We take this opportunity to express our thanks to all who made the success of the season a reality – especially the very enthusiastic sponsors who have supported the Melbourne Baseball Section in ‘87/88. The Club trusts that you have enjoyed your involvement this year, and we would invite you to be part of our prestigious 100th year in Victorian Baseball.