It is with great sadness that the Waverley Baseball Club advises of the passing of John Paice, a true legend of the club.
John passed away on the afternoon of Monday the 12th of January after a long battle with cancer that he had fought over two years.
John’s arrival at our club came after his eldest son Geoff had been asked about playing baseball whilst at a junior football game. Geoff told that person to ask his dad, and so the late and great Peter Sparkman did just that. The son went on to play “just a few games” whilst John became heavily involved in the running of the club, and formed a wonderful friendship with Sparky.
John was one of those seriously dedicated people that we have been so fortunate to have, who worked tirelessly for the betterment of a young and developing baseball club. John served as a Board Member for 10 years from 1978 until 1984, and for seven of those years as our President.
It was during this time the club had its first real Golden Era when we won 4 Division One Grand Finals, and 3 Division One Club Championships.
A feature of our early years were the after-game dinners, and many a raucous and lively night was held at the Paice household in Pamay Road, which was only a “two home runs” distance from our ground in Bennett Avenue. What a wonderful way for players and supporters to bond and help build the club.
The Victorian Baseball Association still regarded us as “young upstarts” and John had many run-ins with the old establishment, but with his persistence and outstanding communication skills, plus our on field results, we became a force to be reckoned with both on and off the field.
John’s funeral will be held at 1.00 pm next Wednesday the 21st of January at Heritage and Heritage Funerals, 733 Boronia Road, Wantirna.
The Waverley Baseball Club passes on its sincere condolences to John’s wife Shirley, their children Geoff, Lee and Phil and their respective families.
He was a wonderful man.
(Written by Ross Neilson)