1987 – Present
The Surfers Paradise Baseball Club was founded in 1987 by John Carpenter, Mitch Wikum and Steve Meeham.
During that year the Club entered three teams in the Brisbane metropolitan competition and in the first season won the A-Grade title. This was achieved through the assistance of ex-Claxton Shield players from other states, as well as other quality players from around the Gold Coast and Brisbane region.
The idea for a junior competition on the Gold Coast, or at least at Surfers Paradise, was initiated by Gary Coward who advertised in the local paper for junior players. With mixed responses from players of all age groups, the competition attracted 60 kids between the ages of 10 and 14 years plus one father – Gary Edwards (Budge). With Gary’s help, the children were split into 5 equal sides, and rolled out a competition on Saturday mornings.
The five junior sides – Giants, Dodgers, Dragons, Dolphins and Sharks – attracted great success in the ‘88 to ‘89 season, and by the ‘89 to ‘90 season the number of kids playing baseball at Surfers Paradise had doubled. By the start of the ‘90 to ‘91 season, there was an abundance of young players. In response, the Club instigated the expansion of baseball on the Gold Coast by encouraging the creation of teams where kids lived – including Runaway Bay, Nerang and Palm Beach. The players were split across several Clubs thereby establishing a Gold Coast junior competition.
The first junior representative players to come from Surfers Paradise were Brandon Pollard, Trent Durrington, Shane Edwards and Adam Wardrop. All four boys were selected in the QLD U/16’s squad in 1990 with each of them progressing to more senior representative teams over the years including National and Junior selection, as well as Australian Senior team selection for Trent and Brandon.
And the tradition of producing talented junior players has continued for Surfers Paradise, who has seen members of the Club achieve State and National representation, as well as professional and overseas signings.