Clinton Ball: Stepping Up To the Plate
Clinton Ball couldn’t be more passionate about his favourite sport if his first name was Base.
Since joining the Narangba Demons as an under-12 in 1984, Ball has played every season bar one, and his work both on and off the field has made him a legend of his beloved club.
“He’s the ultimate club man, and we’re very lucky to have him around,” Demons president Gareth Irving said. “As President it’s been great for me to be able to call on his knowledge and experience, and he’s always willing to give advice when I ask for it. It gives the club stability to have people like Clinton around that will put their hand up to do anything to help.”
Currently the Division 5 coach and still playing, Ball has worn many hats over his 34 years at the club including vice-president, junior coach, a member of representative teams, and even resident chef, having missed the 1991-92 season to compete his apprenticeship.
“He’s always helping out in the kitchen – and puts on a very popular seafood night,” events manager Leigh Tate said.
Growing up in Narangba, Ball developed a passion for baseball, and the club, from a young age.
“Back then baseball wasn’t a very popular sport here, so it was kind of through word of mouth and various programs run by local families that I discovered it,” he said. “That passion has kept me playing for so long, as well as all the great people I’ve met along the way.”
His passion translated into on-field success, making several representative teams throughout his career, including playing in the Narangba team that was victorious at the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters tournament on the Gold Coast.
“The Pan Pacs was a great tournament, and we’ll be going down there again in November,” the 44 year-old said. “Winning premierships is always a highlight for me, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience that a few times.
“I really love helping out around the club too, and I try to lend a hand wherever I can. It’s about giving something back to the community and continuously trying to improve the club.
“There’s been a lot of changes at the club, such as moving to our current grounds on Harris Avenue, but mainly through all the different people that have shaped it. The club has its quiet times, but at the moment it’s going pretty well.
“You need passionate people around a club like this for it to keep going, and we’re lucky to have a few, such as Leigh Tate. I’d really encourage anyone out there looking for a challenge or way to meet new people to come down and check it out. We’re always looking for people to help with fundraising events and functions, or for new players. It’s a great place – I’ve been here for a while now so have developed a big passion for it.”
The Narangba local was awarded life membership to his beloved club for his tireless work.
“Sticking around for so long shows he is a genuine club man,” Tate said. “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t bleed blue and green.”
While the club is nearing its six-month winter break, there are winter competitions available for those who want to give the sport a try.
Visit demons.org.au/wspHome.aspx for more information.