The Dingley Baseball Club commenced in 1959 as a venture for the youth of the surrounding District by Mr. Harold Box and Mr. Jack Mann and members of the Dingley Cricket Club Executive Committee. The founding Club President was Harold Box.
The first Club Coach was Mr. Curly Brereton and the team was entered into the Dandenong Baseball Association “C” Grade winter competition.
In the early days the Club supplied all equipment, including bats and gloves. Ron Horton was our left handed pitcher, and because there was a lack of gloves suitable for left handed players, used a motor bike glove for the first 5 or 6 games of the first season.
By 1960 player numbers had increased (with the involvement of the Dingley Union Church) to a point where the Club was able to enter a second team into the “C” Grade competition.
Our 1st Premiership was won in 1962 – four short years after starting the Club. In 1963 the Club progressed to a team in both the “B” Grade and “C” Grade competition.
Our next Premiership was in 1964, when the “C” Grade team was again successful, and then in 1966 we won our first “B” Grade premiership.
Our first home ground, in 1959, was in the grounds of the DingleyPrimary School, with the diamond positioned in the south west corner batting toward the Dingley Tennis Club courts (since relocated).
In 1959, the Club moved to the Dingley Recreation Reserve (Football Ground), and then to the area behind the Harold Box Community Hall (Corrigan Reserve).
During the 70’s and 80’s, as player numbers grew, the Club took on nomad qualities shifting its home ground approximately six times within the Dingley,
NoblePark, Springvale region.
Finally in June 1986 the Club arrived at its current home –
Rowans Road, Dingley – a purpose built baseball ground with two fully fenced diamonds and Club facilities. It continues to use this facility with summer tenants Springvale Lions Baseball Club.
After winning the ‘B’ Grade Grand Final in 1974, the Club was successfully promoted to the ‘A’ Grade competition in 1975 where it has remained to this day. Although having had previous forays into ‘A’ Grade these were only short lived episodes. The Club finally played off in its first ‘A’ Grade Grand Final in 1976 but had to wait till 1977 to become ‘A’ Grade Premiers. The Club was again successful in 1986.
While having made a number of further ‘A” Grand Final appearances since 1986 the Club has not been able to emulate the earlier success. The Club does however continue to win premierships in other grades, as well as the junior competition.
In 1978 the Club established a women’s softball team playing in the Melbourne Softball Association. The first team, coached by Ken Costelloe, was primarily made up of wives and girlfriends of baseballers from the club. The Softball team won their first ‘A’ Grade Grand Final in 1991. In 1980 the name of the club was changed to the Dingley Baseball & Softball Club.
There have been many notable members of the Club over the years including;
· Harold Box (deceased), local Shire Councilor and Mayor, Life Member and founding Club president;
· Doug McLean, founding member and player, Life Member and past President, as well as Australian and ABL umpire. Doug is still involved with the club helping with junior players, umpiring and as club supporter.
· Warren (Noddy) Harding, Life Member, committeeman and ‘A’ Grade player, came to us from Malvern Baseball Club, provided many years service particularly in the area coaching of junior players, a number of whom still play ‘A’ Grade today.
· Allan Wills (deceased), Life Member, Club President and inspiration for much of the success in the halcyon years of the Club through the 70s and 80s. Allan’s family is still actively involved with the Club, including grandchildren. His son Rick is the current Club President.
· Ken Costelloe, Life Member, came to the Club in 1977 to take up the position of Club coach. Coached the Club to its inaugural ‘A’ Grade premiership. Ken has taken on many roles including President and Treasurer. Founded the Softball arm of the Club in 1978 and is still actively involved in the Club.
· Judy Costelloe, Life Member, founding member of softball team and player for many years. Also Club Secretary and Treasurer for many years as well as significant contributor and supporter of the Club.
· Mark Cummings, Life Member, started as junior player at the club in 1974 before progressing to senior baseball. Past President of the Club before taking on his current role as President of the Dandenong Baseball Association. Still active in the club as player, as are his sons Mitchell and Mason.
· Auke Pool, Life member, long standing Club member started out as a junior player in 1968 and continues to play to this day. Holds the Club record for games played – 625 at last count. Over the years has had heavy involvement in all areas of Club administration as well as coaching at both junior and senior levels.
Senior Club Premierships & Championship (Baseball Only)
1962 C Grade
1964 C Grade
1966 B Grade
1967 C Grade
1974 B Grade
1977 A Grade
1981 Club Championship
1986 A Grade
1992 B Grade
1992 Club Championship
1997 A Reserve
1998 C Grade
1999 B Grade
2004 D Grade
2009 A3 Grade
2011 A Reserve
2012 A Reserve
2013 A Grade
2015 Club Championship
2015 C1 Blue
2017 A2 Grade