While baseball was first played in Australia in the nineteenth century, it was the visit of the American Fleet in 1908 that particularly boosted interest in the game. In that year baseball first began to be played in NSW schools.
By 1914 St Bede’s (Anglican Church), Drummoyne had a well organised baseball team. Players in the photograph, above, were back row: A. Norman (Pitcher), H. Kay (1st Base), L. Kay (Catcher), Honorary Treasurer E. Gordon (Centre Field); second row: F. Hall (3rd Base), A. E. Kelshaw (Short Stop), Captain A. Mackenzie (2nd Base), Vice Captain and Honorary Secretary E. Stutchbury (Right Field); front row: E. Boon (Left Field), A Parsons (Centre Field).
It appears that at least six of the young men enlisted in the First World War. Brothers Harold Brooks Kay and Leslie Frank Kay, Ernest Gordon, Frederick Poole Hall, Albert Edward Kelshaw and Eric William Stutchbury. Ernest Gordon was killed in action in 1917 but the others all returned to Australia after the war ended. Eric Stutchbury became a Major in the 55 Battalion and was highly decorated, being awarded a Military Cross with Bar.
The photograph of St Bede’s Baseball Club was recently donated to Local Studies by Major Stutchbury’s son, Kevin.