Baseball salutes special servant

It may not be summer, but the baseball fraternity ventured out to its clubrooms at Blue Lake Sports Park in force to salute its most treasured member on a special Sunday service.

Darryl “Sid” Hosking has been the face of the Mount Gambier District Baseball League for over six decades and his unwavering passion for the sport was recognised recently when he was one of the inaugural inductees into the Baseball South Australia Hall of Fame.

Almost 50 guests attended the function in honour of the man who has helped regional baseball become the sport that it is today.

Hosking’s time on the diamond started in 1960 for a team named the Pirates when the MGDBL started a junior league.

A year later, “Sid” joined the Centrals Baseball Club and the relationship still stands strong today more than 700 games and seven premierships later.

Hosking was not only a brilliant pitcher and second baseman, he was also the backbone of the sport off the diamond performing roles such as president, treasurer, statistician and coach, while he has also compiled scrap books covering almost every moment of the sport’s history.

He was the man behind the transition from winter to summer baseball 42 years ago, the move to permanent facilities at Blue Lake Sports Park and the venue’s introduction of clubrooms and light towers, plus organising several tournaments including Australian Baseball League visits and the 75th anniversary of the Claxton Shield.

Alongside Hosking, the late Millicent Baseball Club founder Sid “Chippy” Haynes was inducted into the Baseball SA Hall of Fame.
The pair enjoyed some battles on the diamond and greatly contributed to the sport around the state enormously.

At the function, guest speakers such as Michael Summers, Roger Chuck and Graham Greenwood told some excellent stories of “Sid” from through the years.

Always by Hosking’s side was wife Jill, who has always been a supportive wife scoring and attending games and even gave “Sid” the approval of playing a baseball game minutes after the arrival of their daughter.

The pair stood together at the presentation where a humbled and touched Hosking was overwhelmed by the reception he received from the baseball community.

“I received the notification I would be inducted into the inaugural South Australian Baseball Hall of Fame with mixed emotions – along with absolute surprise,” “Sid” said.

“Embarrassment in that I have only done things not for love of the game and the sport.

“Humility for being selected as one of the original inductees.
“Excitement for receiving such an award that reflects on Country Baseball and Mount Gambier and the Mount Gambier and District Baseball League.

“And proud to be inducted in the inaugural awards ceremony in such esteemed company.

“To be a part of the inaugural inductees is quite surreal to me and it will take some time to accept that.”

The baseball world has changed a lot since “Sid” first wore a mitt and he recalled some of the long and cold early days where the traditional summer sport was played in the depths of winter.

“Not many would remember the days at Frew Park, imagine playing on wet soggy and muddy grounds where your feet were always wet and it took a week for your shoes to dry out.

“Imagine the lake that was formed from the water runoff on to the park from Penola Road, the floating bases and the water spray sent up from a sliding baserunner.”

Having been around the sport for two thirds of its existence, Hosking has been lucky enough to win premierships alongside his sons Brett and Tim, while his grandson Lawyer is currently playing for Golden Grove in Adelaide.

“Sid” said he could not have done everything without the support of his family and the baseball community.

“I accepted this award on behalf of the league because its about all of those who have given their time in whatever capacity to further the game in our area,” he said.

“My understanding wife, Jill has been behind me since the day we met even to the point of scoring for the club for many, many years and is too a life member of Central.

“Baseball is a team game and I was just one of those team members.”

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