Waverley Reds

From BR Bullpen

The Waverley Reds (also listed as the Waverly Reds) were members of the Australian Baseball League for its first seven seasons. They were the first team to win two titles and only once were under .500. They were managed for the first five years by Phil Dale and by Paul Runge their next season. Jim Saul guided them their final year.

Waverley dominated the first ABL season, 1989-1990, going 34-6. They had All-Stars at almost every position with C David Clarkson, 1B Pete Beeler, 2B David Buckthorpe, SS Matthew Sheldon-Collins, OF Ron Carothers and P Dale. Dale was named both MVP and Manager of the Year. Clarkson led in average (.444) and OBP (.500), Beeler hit .373 and Carothers led in runs (46). Dale led in wins (9) and ERA (1.44).

In 1990-1991, the Reds fell to 20-18 and 4th place. Only Carothers made the All-Star squad. Myles Barnden won Rookie of the Year honors. The next season, Waverley finished third at 27-19. Brian Kowitz was an All-Star in the outfield, leading the league with 32 walks and being second in OBP (.433) and steals (26). Jon Deeble led with a .436 OBP.

The Reds had a 26-21 record and again were 4th in the 1992-1993 Australian Baseball League. Carlos Reyes led in wins (9, tied) and strikeouts (74) and was third in ERA (2.02) to earn Pitcher of the Year honors. In 1993-1994, the club fell to 22-31 and 6th in the 8-team circuit. They had no All-Stars.

Under Runge, the Reds went 44-14 to win the 1994-1995 ABL title. All-Star catcher Dave Nilsson (.388/.471/.775) led the league in average, slugging and OBP and was second with 56 RBI. Dale tied for the lead with 12 wins and was second with a 2.76 ERA to win Pitcher of the Year honors, no longer having to manage as well as pitch. Dale was MVP of the championship as the Reds won their second title.

Nilsson and the Reds got into a dispute following the season, as Nilsson (a part-owner of the club) wanted to be let go to join his native Brisbane. They compromised, allowing Nilsson to leave after one last year for the Reds. The Reds were 27-21 and had no All-Stars in 1995-1996; some sources list them as the Melbourne Reds that year. Others list them as being renamed the next season.

Source: Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac