In 1945, a group of lads from Grange formed a baseball team called the Grange Beachcombers and played scratch matches against teams from Welland, Salisbury and Edwardstown. Their uniforms were made by some of the boy’s mothers from surplus grey army singlets.
Some of the lads were in the boy scouts and the local scoutmaster happened to be an ex-baseballer named Tom Stevens. Tom decided to nominate the team for the South Australian Baseball League 1946 winter competition as the Grange Baseball Club.
During the 1946 season with Merv Nelson as coach, the team played in Metro E grade (equivalent to current Division 7) and won 5 of 14 games. Its first 2 games were played at Grange Oval but then shifted to Henley Oval as the Grange Football Club were unhappy that the baseballer's were cutting up the football oval. Halfway through this season Ray Thorne took over from Tom Stevens as club secretary, the beginning of a long era when Ray was the clubs leading administrator.
In 1947, the club changed its name to The Henley & Grange Baseball Club the name it is known by until this day and fielded 2 teams winning its first premiership in Metro C grade. The club had appointed Jerry Brown as its coach (Jerry had played for Goodwood before World War 2 and had caught the great Ron Sharpe while playing there). In 1948, the club won the Metro B premiership and was promoted to Metro A for the 1949 season. The club changed its uniform from grey with maroon lettering to maroon and gold with gold lettering which remain the clubs basic colours to this day.
In 1950 the club moved back to Grange Oval as the Grange football club had become defunct. The club remained at Grange until the mid 1990’s when Charles Sturt council assisted the club in its move to its current location on Bartley Terrace.
A decision was made by the SABL in the early 1950’s to give the Woodville Baseball Club Major League status ahead of Henley & Grange and while the club enjoyed a purple patch of success from 1954 to 1956 winning 3 consecutive Minor A premierships it was unable to progress into a higher grade because of the lack of a district.
The club continued to perform well during the 1960’s but again a vote to obtain district status and become a Division1 club was stymied by the fact that most of the other district clubs considered there was just not enough room or population for another club on the western side of town. Consequently the vote went to the relatively new club, Central Districts which of course formed following the development of Elizabeth.
The club continued to field about 5 or 6 teams until the advent of summer baseball in 1969/70, when it fielded 4 teams, then dropped right back to only 2 teams in 1970/71 and struggled to survive. The 1973/74 season proved to be the revival of the club when 22 year old Steve White in his first coaching assignment led the club to the Minor A premiership. Meetings between representatives of Henley & Grange, Southern Districts and the SABL resulted in the clubs being given the chance to play in Division 2, although still without District status.
The club acquitted itself well in its first season in Division 2, finishing 4th. It is interesting to note that the club fielded its second side in Division 5, but at that stage was back to fielding 6 teams including teams in Under 17, 15 and 13 - a great turnaround had been achieved.
Success in Division 2 finally came in 1978/79 and then again in 1979/80, which meant the club finally gained Division 1 and District status in 1980 following a vote by all clubs(there was still reluctance to give us status by some clubs)
The club built up to be one of the SABL’s leading clubs through success at the highest level in 1995/96 and 1996/97. This success was achieved in part through the junior program dating back to the late 1970’s which saw the commencement of the clubs own primary school competition, which later became the Rams Pee Wee League. The Pee Wee League was fed by 2 very well run and independent T-ball clubs at Grange and West Lakes.
The club is currently undergoing a rebuilding program following its demise from the Division 1 competition in 2005. After a few seasons back in Division 2, the club once again found success, by playing finals in the 2006/2007 and 2008/2009 seasons, subsequently winning a position back in Division 1 for the 2009/2010 season and it is where we remain today.
The Henley and Grange Baseball Club currently fields 8 senior teams and 7 junior teams in the South Australian Summer Baseball League, a Tball Program which includes an All Star Team in the Western Tball Competition and 2 teams in the Masters Competition with the hope of entering 2 teams in 2017/18 Women's League.
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