Michele Winther and Ian Bishop will be formally presented with Life Membership at the Baseball Victoria Annual Awards Night to be held on Thursday the 28th March 2019.
As a longtime scorer, contributing committee member and life member of Bonbeach St Chads and Frankston Baseball Clubs, Michele has been making a difference to local, state and national baseball for more than 35 years. She’s shown unwavering commitment to her passion of scoring baseball games, serving as Chief Scorer at Bonbeach since 1988 and at Frankston since 1981. She’s also a life member of Dandenong Baseball Association, and she’s widely considered the authority in baseball scoring among peers and our sporting community. Michele has served numerous times as the team scorer for Victorian state teams, Melbourne Aces and Claxton Shield, and she was named the National Team Scorer for the 1999 InterContinental Cup, 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and 2007 Baseball World Cup.
Michele is just one of just a handful of scorers nationwide who hold a Level 5 accreditation with CABS. Taking a look at the life membership criteria, including innovative practice, advancement of the game, administration, leadership roles and community involvement, Michele received an outstanding 55/55 for her knowledge, guidance, volunteerism and good character.
“I’m very pleased and honoured to accept this Life Membership,” Michele Winther said. “It’s been a long trip and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve been to some wonderful places all around Australia and overseas so baseball has been very good to me.”
Michele added that her passion for scoring began shortly after she married her husband, when the former Little Leaguer decided he wanted to pick up a bat and ball again. She came along to watch and was asked to score, despite minimal knowledge of the game. Fast forward 40 years, and she’s shared her passion for scoring with so many others in the baseball community while making a big difference to the sport.
Photo reproduced courtesy of Sunraysia Daily – Mildura, www.sunraysiadaily.com.au
A standout individual who has dedicated more than 50 years to the Sunraysia Baseball League, Ian’s baseball career has included playing, coaching, umpiring and committee work. He first joined the sport as an athlete in the 1950s, and he soon took up coaching in addition to playing on representative sides. He served as SBL’s Secretary/Treasurer in 1966 and Treasurer in 1972, and he had a crucial leadership role in the reformation of the SBL in 1979.
Although he retired from playing in 1984, his contributions to the sport were far from over. He was League Treasurer from 1980-1982 before beginning his 30+ years of umpiring. He was a proud advocate and promoter of the sport, serving as media liaison for several years as well as sharing baseball radio reports on Sunday mornings from 1982-2005. He was the SBL Committee Level Umpire Coordinator from 1990-2004, and he returned to his beloved role as Secretary/Treasurer from 2007/2017.
Ian was granted life membership to SBL in 1993 for his commitment and support of the sport and its growth in Sunraysia. Ian’s notable advocacy, leadership, reformation, administration and community involvement gave him an impressive 48/55 in life membership criteria. A special presentation for Ian will be held at the 2019 end of season Sunraysia Baseball League Awards Night.
"I'm quite honoured and proud to receive Life Membership. It's something I never expected," Ian said. "I started baseball in 1955 and just carried on with it, because it's something I loved doing. It is an absolute honour and a pleasure."