A special day for North Coburg Rebels and the Ray family
By SALLY HEPPLESTON
THE North Coburg Rebels Baseball Club is a family friendly club, and that sentiment has never been more evident after a stalwart of the club and his three sons took the field together last week.
Neil Ray, who has played with the Rebels for nearly 20 years, said it was the highlight of his baseball career to date to get the chance to play with his sons.
And capping off the wonderful family-oriented day, he also had his four daughters, wife – who never misses a game – and other members of his extended family in the crowd to cheer them all on.
Neil, 56, was joined by Daniel, 26, Joshua, 18 and Cameron, 17, in the E grade game against North Balwyn. While the result didn’t quite go their way, with the Rebels pushing the top side to only go down 14 to 16, Neil said it was a magnificent experience.
“I’m just amazed the club made such an effort for this,” Neil said.
“It was an absolutely awesome experience and everyone at the club got involved. I’m very proud of how it all went, despite the result of the match,” he said.
Club president Alan Sutherland was also joined by his son Charlie on the field last weekend, and while the club tried to get both families in the same match, Alan and Charlie took the field for the D grade side.
This year marks the 30th anniversary for the North Coburg Rebels, who stared as the Reservoir Rebels in 1996.
They started with only one senior side and now field five senior sides and three junior sides.
On Saturday September 3, the club are holding a celebration to mark the milestone, and all past and present members of the club are welcome.
Neil, who lives in Epping, said the family-friendly atmosphere of the Rebels is what kept him coming back, season after season, despite there being closer baseball clubs to home for him to play for.
He said his three sons, who had all had time away from baseball in recent years due to study and other sporting commitments, were all determined to get back in to the sport so that last weekend’s game with their dad wasn’t a once off.
Details: facebook.com/ncrebels or 0488 001 658