Mr. Ross Neilson
Among Waverley’s very greatest and most versatile contributors Ross Neilson
Awarded Life Membership in 1989
Not one to seek the spotlight, we didn’t think that we’d be able to get him to contribute anything about himself, but WBCWEB decided that we could not add any more features on our LIFE MEMBERS until we did so for our current president ROSS NEILSON.
While he might not like to be compared with some of the Waverley Baseball Club’s founders in terms of club history, there can be no argument that the club has had no greater contributor for so many years, in so many roles as our current (2006) president Ross Neilson who deserves recognition as one of the club’s all-time most significant members.
Unlike many who came to the club as a parent of a junior player, Ross started at Waverley as a junior player himself and, indeed, he was a member of the club’s 1966 Under 17 team who were Waverley’s only junior team at that stage in the club’s history!
As far as we know there has never been a moment since that Ross Neilson has not contributed or been involved at the Waverley Baseball Club.
As a player, umpire, coach, committeeman and president Ross Neilson has been an integral part of the “lifeblood” that has made the club what it is today!
It would take up more web space than we could manage to chronicle all of the innumerable things that Ross Neilson has contributed to the Waverley Baseball Club.
One of our finest junior players during the early era of the club, Ross has gone on to play, currently, 531 senior games for Waverley… and we cannot guarantee that he has finished yet!
A terrific all-round player at his peak, Ross has simply enjoyed the game so much that he has continued to play at just about every level of senior baseball and he has remained a great example of how to respect our great game. Ross was Waverley’s Club Champion as a 19yo in 1970.
The fact that he is currently fixed at No.3 in our all-time games record holder’s list, behind only baseball “freaks” Geoff Paice and David Clarkson, says enough about his commitment and loyalty as a player.
Obviously, Ross did not think he had given enough to the club and the game when he decided to give something back to the sport by becoming an accredited baseball umpire… a role that he has performed with his usual professionalism for many, many years at many levels.
He also contributed in any and every way as a parent when his own children played at Waverley. In fact, Ross had the honour of being the first ever Waverley player to see one of his own children play with the same club when Shaun started playing tee-ball circa 1983!
Ross has also been one of the major sponsors of the Waverley Baseball Club, probably for a longer period than any other? He is recorded as the club’s first ever sponsor, way back in 1975.
It is already 17-years since Ross was awarded Life Membership by the club but his loyalty and contribution has simply continued to roll on unabated.
In more recent times Ross has continued to contribute to the club as a committeeman, entering his seventh year on the Board of Management, and he in now entering his fourth year as club President having taken over that role in 2004. (At time of writing July 2006)
We have certainly abbreviated and summarised just some of the more significant contributions that Ross Neilson has made to the Waverley Baseball Club and we can only hope that it has done him some of the justice he so richly deserves.
In the reverse, it also goes without saying that few people are so dedicated to the cause and who genuinely love the Waverley Baseball Club more than Ross Neilson.
As a final tribute from WBCWEB we must also say that Ross, like so many of the GREAT people who have worked so hard to create and enrich the history of the WBC, is a person who shuns the accolades and the spotlight, while he does so much of his “less glamorous” work unnoticed behind the scenes. It is not uncommon to see Ross, who travels quite a distance to the club these days, doing something about the clubrooms at any time of day or night.
He is also one person that can always be relied upon whenever there is a need for a fill-in umpire, player or coach. Whether it be re-stocking soft drinks, helping out with some type of working-bee or in the canteen, Ross is the type of person who simply puts himself out and who is not too aloof to do whatever is necessary to benefit the Waverley Baseball Club. There is not an adequate way for the club to thank people in this category.
We can only offer him our heart-felt thanks for all he has done for the club and hope that he can continue on for many more years.