WARREN Radford received a surprise at the 2017 June Baseball Carnival when he was awarded life membership of the Tamworth Baseball Association.
It wasn’t something he expected as he prepared for another gruelling long weekend of baseball play and organisation.
It was a well deserved recognition, said TBA president Robert “Shaky” Handsaker as he and Warren Williams, also TBA life members, posed for a photo with the newest life member inductee.
Warren, better known as Wazza, arrived in Tamworth in 1972 when he was working at the then P&G which became Telecom.
“I was on a temporary transfer,” he said. “Seven of us came up to work on the new exchange and three of us stayed.”
He started playing baseball with RSL Diamonds at the old Prince Of Wales Park and also played with Wenty RSL when they won a 1974 June Carnival undefeated.
“I had transferred back to Sydney for two years and played with them down there too,” he said.
He then returned to Tamworth for good.
He played for RSL Diamonds, Big W and Kootingal.
Injuries to shoulders and knees ended his playing career but he joined the officials and was treasurer and president for a number of years as well as coaching.
“My two boys, Clint and Rowan, both played in the juniors,” he said.
He did have a little rest from the game for a while but has been back full bore since 2007, especially with the organisation of the carnival.
“I’ve been treasurer now for 10 years,” he said of his most recent TBA officialdom.
“When I first started (back) they said we could only have a maximum of 24 teams for the June Carnival,” he said.
“Since then we’ve manipulated and worked out ways to fit a few more teams in.
“It’s going to be a big challenge to fit 50 teams in next year but we might have to make a few cuts here and there.
“We may have to have two fields at Minor League (they had one field for the first time last weekend).”
He’s delighted the way the June Carnival has grown, with female participation stronger every year and the family aspect more and more prevalent.