An interview with Gary Bitmead about Straw Field and how Gary knew Ross in his junior days at Essendon.
The last games to be played at Ross Straw Field will be held on Sunday 24 August. If you have played, umpired, scored, coached or volunteered at Ross Straw Field, or even if you are a little nostalgic, please come down to bid the grounds a fond farewell.
Ross Straw Field was the first purpose built baseball facility in Victoria. The main diamond boasted Major League dimensions, all weather infield, sunk bases and home plate, back net, outfield fences and bleachers for spectators too.
Many VBA finals and exhibition matches have been played there over the years. Since the mid 1970s the fields have been home to the University of Melbourne Baseball Club. During the club’s tenancy, the grounds have played host to winter, summer and intervarsity matches and tournaments. Sadly, both diamonds shall be rendered unfit for baseball due to the East West Link project.
Therefore, the games played there on Sunday the 24th of August will be the last ever. In honour of this significant event, a full day of baseball will be played on both diamonds.
The format of the day will be as follows:
9:30am Women’s game commences – Melbourne University vs. Monash University (TBC)
11.30am Warm up commences for those old enough or legendary enough to play in the 'Heritage Game'
12.00pm Heritage Game commences
1.30pm Heritage Game ends
2.30pm B Grade game commences – Melbourne University v Monash University
A group shot of all those attending will be taken between 1.30pm-2.00pm.
Oldies/Legends who would like to play in the Heritage Game should RSVP to Richard King – email@example.com. If you have a uniform that fits wear it - if not just wear something that you don’t mind getting muddy (or dusty). This is your last ever chance to play on the revered surface, so if you are even half thinking about it, this year it’s time!
On behalf of the University of Melbourne BC Committee we look forward to seeing you on 24 August.
Note: There will be an informal meal on the night before the game at
The Clyde Hotel, 385 Cardigan St, Carlton, – 6.30pm’ish – all welcome.
Some old photos and scans relating to Straw Field can be seen at this link. These photos are provided courtesy of the Fitzroy Baseball Club archives.