Frank Walford (1944 - 1991) and the Frank Walford Memorial Award
Early History in Victoria
Frank began his baseball career playing juniors with the Richmond Tigers in Victoria. From Richmond he moved to Springvale where he began his coaching career and involvement with club organisation. He remained with Springvale until 1977 when he moved to Canberra and joined the Queanbeyan baseball club.
Queanbeyan Baseball Club
This is where his sons started to play. For three years Frank travelled from Holt to Queanbeyan, picking up junior and senior players on his way to the games.
Frank was a junior coach as well as a senior player and coach. Frank was involved in all aspects of the club.
Back to Victoria - 1980 to 1983 and the Lyndale Bears
In 1980 Frank and family returned to Victoria and joined a new club that had only just formed - the Lyndale Bears. In his three years with Lyndale, Frank ran the club, coached, played and basically built the club. He designed and built a new ground which featured two senior diamonds complete with backnets and dugouts. During his time with Lyndale, Frank involved all club members in working bees and fund raising activities that helped make the club profitable and enjoyable for years to come.
Canberra 1983 to 1987 - Wests
1983 saw Frank and his family return to Canberra only to find that his old club was no longer around. Frank contacted some old Queanbeyan mates - Tony Bugg and Ziggy Prykiel and found that baseball had spread further into the ACT.
At this time Frank was living in Evatt. He had two choices, he could join Indians or Wests (an amalgamation of Belconnen baseball club and Warrigals). Having enough experience at travelling, Frank chose Wests as his future club. Upon joining Wests, Frank in his first year, just played B-Grade and coached a junior team. Whilst doing this he used his connections in the building industry to borrow some equipment to upgrade Melba oval (Wests then home ground) with new backnets, batting cage and dugouts.
Despite these achievements, Frank's greatest pride and joy was his own creation of a scorer's shed - built to look like a baseball hat. (The frame of this is still in use at the Aranda ground today.)
The next season saw Frank become the President of Wests, a position he loved with a passion.
Whilst President, Frank also coached a junior team, played, and coached a senior team. With the help of the committee, he organised funny money gambling nights which included his own design - wind up horse racing. These and other activities helped make Wests a most successful club in terms of premierships, player numbers in juniors and seniors, strength of the committee and number of supporters.
Back to Victoria 1987 to 1991
Frank remained with the club until 1987 when, due to failing health, he moved back to Victoria for medical treatment. At that stage he beat the first bout of cancer and resumed playing baseball with his old club Lyndale. Unfortunately the cancer returned and in late 1991 Frank lost his battle.
Frank Walford lived and breathed baseball and through his passion for the game infected hundreds of people from Victoria to the ACT with enjoyment for this great pastime.
The Frank Walford Memorial Award
The Frank Walford Memorial Award is presented annually to a club person, often working behind the scenes, helping to increase enjoyment of the game for others.