Bulls: The Beginnings
“In the beginning was the word”
(...a brief history of this glorious club, lovingly compiled by Dave Newland)
Rawnsley Park – Flinders Ranges was the birthplace of the Bulls. This immaculate conception, circa 1976,took place before the eyes of dozens of 12 year old children! (A claim has been made under native title to declare this as a sacred site.)
It was a school camp and a conversation between two teachers that created the embryo.
David Newland, also a coach with the Aldgate Women’s Softball Club was lamenting to Eddie Sloan (a teacher on his staff) that no such activity was available to men. In the interests of equal opportunity it was resolved to rectify this. Thus a softball team was formed from sports teachers, Hills ferals, and the boyfriend of one of the women softballers : Martin Foster.
Matches were played against various Hills sporting groups on an ad hoc basis.
Having enjoyed the experience of grasping big balls a small nucleus of players decided to try their luck with smaller varieties and entered the then fledgling winter baseball competition. Recruits who had actually played the game at any level or age were sought. The team was known as the Aldgate Tigers since a donation of iron-on tiger transfers had been obtained.
The first game, against Adelaide Angels (who had uniforms!), was played at Heathfield High School on an oval flooded by rain. The Bulls saw red! The first Bull to the plate-hit-tripped-slid face first into first - lost his pants in the mud - the fielder lost the ball in the prow wave of water created by the “runner”. Safe!!
Bulls runners have continued to try innovative game plays ever since.
Winterball games were played in the parkland paddocks adjacent to the Picadilly theatre. Conditions were primitive and the toilets looked like trees.
In 1977 however the Winterball Committee was able to arrange more appropriate venues as the competition expanded. It was during this season that the Tigers became affiliated with the Bridgewater Sports and Social Club [in order to get some $] and hence became "The Bridgewater Bulls". The logo of the bat-swinging bull was created by “Frog” Fosters’ cousin. Sturt was chosen as the home pen. George McKinlay [co-opted Redsox A-Grader] accepted the position of leader- a role which he played with distinction. There is no doubt that “Hawkeye” ensured a strong gene pool for future cloning.
Continuity, so essential if an organization is to prosper, was [and still is] provided by Martin Foster who as treasurer/secretary/general bullsbody for 24 years has kept the cattle trucks rolling right on to the feed lot.
From their rough and ready and at times turbulent childhood the Bulls have grown and matured, by virtue of their philosophy, into a strong and successful adulthood. Second generation “young bulls” are now starting to challenge the “old bulls” for positions in the herd. This will ensure that the bellow continues to roar across the pastures in times ahead.