JC's Legends play in the right spirit

JC’S LEGENDS haven’t looked back since they splurged on their new green and gold Carter shirts.

The tribute side, formed in 2011 to celebrate the life of baseballing legend John Carter, has won E Division and now C Division at the Tamworth Baseball Association June Baseball Carnival in three years.

It means the side might be elevated to B Division next year, a situation one of the co-founders, Steve Davison, welcomes.

C Division winners JC's Legends after their Monday success.  Photo: Gareth Gardner  090614GGE02

C Division winners JC's Legends after their Monday success. Photo: Gareth Gardner 090614GGE02

“We could have three sides next year,”  Davison said.

“We’ve merged with JB Air,” he said of the E grade side formed from softballers.

“And we will have two, possibly three sides.

“Everyone was pretty happy with how it all went. 

“Winning C Division was brilliant. 

“Everyone did their job.

“It was a great team effort and a fantastic way to finish.

“I know Mick and Rod (John Carter’s sons) were pretty emotional about it. 

“Having Rod Wise and his two boys come back too was great.”

Davison (Narrabri Auto Pro), Mick Carter (Advanced Inland Security) and Wise (All About Cabinets) sponsored the JC Legends too.

Wise is a former Tamworth baseballer and cricketer now based on the Gold Coast with his cabinet-making business.

He employs a large staff that includes his son Matt and talented baseballer Paul McPhail.

“We go from Bundaberg to Newcastle, even been out to Narrabri,” Wise said.

“We had a great time last year and I was hoping to bring all three boys this year but Jarrad had to work.”

Two of his sons, Matt and Brad, went to the US to play baseball as well in both college and the minors.

“Brad signed on with Detroit and was based in Florida at their rookie ball.”

While the team celebrated an enormous 6-5 final win over Muppets on Monday, the Sunday match against Kingswood – where the teams observed a minute’s silence for JC and where Rod threw the ceremonial “first pitch” – was also a touching time.

“It’s become a bit of an institution,” said Dave King of the JC Legends side.

“To win like that with a classic finish was a great result for us.”

Len Holt also took one for the team on Monday.

While King and Davison were restricted to management duties, Holt played.

“I’m getting too old for this,” he said after the one-run final win.

“But it’s just good fun. 

“I got hit in the head – you know you’re getting too old when you can’t catch them. 

“I’ll retire now.”

Davison said the young kids can take over on the diamond on a weekend where the Legends fought back from a first game loss to the Deadstars.

Troy Steadman pitched brilliantly in that game but the fielding let him down, Davison said, after Brent King, Matt Wise, Ryan Handsaker and Nathan Handsaker all had hits.

They bounced back to beat the Wolves 11-9 where Davo’s son, big hitting Tom, had three hits from three at-bats as the side went on a hitting frenzy, nailing 18 safe hits.

Rod Wise also finished off on the mound with a “mix of unknown pitch types”,  Davison alleged.

McPhail then starred in a 9-8 win over Team Duff, pitching and hitting well.

A 6-2 win over Kingswood in the minute’s silence match was highlighted by some outstanding efforts from Ryan Handsaker, McPhail, Nathan Handsaker,  King and Rod Wise.

A 14-2 success against Misfits was highlighted by Brock Ridgewell’s three hits. 

He also excelled in the final.

“He’s a real credit to his coaches (in Tamworth),” Davison said.

Troy Steadman and Vali Orcher, nicknamed Goulburn Valley by his teammates, also impressed at stages with some good hits from Mick Carter as well in what Davison reckoned was a “sensational team performance on and off the field”.

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