MWDBA – Baseball for All Ages

Manly Warringah District Baseball Club was formed in 1950 by a group of friends who wanted to play Baseball together upon the suggestion of Lenny Soman. The Club had its first official AGM on 20thFebruary,1951 in the Sporting Union Rooms with Mr.G.Lowe acting as chairman. An inaugural meeting of the Club had been held prior to the AGM to present and adopt a set of Rules and Constitution governing the proposed club.

From 1950 till 1959, MWDBC played in the Northern Suburbs Baseball Association competition with great success.

In 1960, MWDBC was invited to become a member of the NSW Baseball Union (now called NSWBL Inc) and has continuously fielded teams in the various competitions under the jurisdiction of NSWBL as well as affiliated associations.

In 1976, after many years of constant negotiations, MWDBC was allocated a ground by the Manly Warringah Joint District Parks Committee to be developed as a centre for baseball in the area. As with most of the other sporting venues in Manly Warringah the land was formerly a landfill site. The initial facilities were subsidised by a grant from the Department of Sport & Recreation and over the years, due to the efforts of Club stalwarts, the Council, and with the help of further grants, the main diamond, home to MWDBC is fully fenced with a good playing service, dugouts and bullpens. An amenities block, has been continuously improved to provide canteen facilities, a Club Room and a covered viewing balcony which coupled with spectator seating on the hill makes it one of the best grounds in Sydney and a project to be proud of.

MWDBC is currently known as the ‘senior’ club however its members have been involved in the establishment and support of Junior Competitions within the district. In 1971 the winter based Little League finished and with help from local sports masters and other Club committees the Junior Summer Baseball Competition was formed. In 1975/76 a big promotion was made to get a junior association formed and in 1976, 500 children comprising 47 teams played in what is now known as Manly Warringah Junior Baseball League Inc., under the leadership of Steve Green and Graham Howlett. In 1977 this association was made an independent body, and continued in its own right.

Many of the local Juniors have progressed to Senior Baseball with MWDBC and along the way have represented their Assn. State and Country. Two of MWDBC’s players have represented Australia at the Olympics – Mark Doubleday in Atlanta 1996 and Rodney Van Buizen in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. Some players from MWDBC have made it to the professional leagues in the USA while others have experienced the University or College Conference systems.

The Club presently fields teams in the NSWBL Major League competition which comprises 1st, 2nd, 3rd & Under 18’s Grade. Teams are also fielded in other metropolitan competitions when numbers permit.

In October 2011 MWDBC, joined with Manly Warringah Winter Baseball and Manly Warringah Junior Baseball League to form Manly Warringah District Baseball Association as the Regional Sporting Association (MWDBA) to manage and promote the game within the Manly, Warringah, Pittwater and Northern Sydney areas.

MWDBC gratefully acknowledges Life Member Gina Doubleday for the historical information in this article.