Women celebrate 20 years – Cass Shelverton

Cass 20 Year Article

Part two of our series of articles focusing on the 20th Anniversary of women’s baseball at Springy will be a chat with Cass Shelverton. Famous for her #2 jersey, her ability to throw strikes when the team is in trouble, and her willingness to help the club off the field, Cass has become a great asset to the Big Cats family.

Currently in her 9th season with Springvale, Cass has seen the club evolve a lot over the years. “The most notable change I’ve seen is the club getting 3 women’s teams. The coaches and committee realized the need to have the 3 teams so that the different levels of players could have an appropriate team to play in. It hasn’t been easy for the coaching staff to field 3 teams, especially this year, but they do an amazing job to ensure the players can play in the Division that best suits them”.

After beginning her career at Chelsea, Cass was looking for a change and Springy was just down the road. A two-time Best and Fairest winner in the Seconds, Cass was also a member of the committee for four years. Part of two Big Cats Division One Premierships (2010/2011 and 2011/2012), she was also part of the club’s only Division Three Premiership.

“I will never forget having the opportunity to play alongside Risa Nakashima. It was a privilege to be on her team, and her on-field ability was amazing. But it was her work ethic that led the team, and generosity to help others that made her a true team player and a pleasure to be around”. Cass went on to note that it would be remiss of her not to mention the long time support of her ‘baseball wife’ Gabby.

When asked about the favourite coaches she’s worked with over the journey, she acknowledged that she has learnt a lot over the years from Mick Wearne. “It is pretty hard to pick just one, as we are very lucky at Springy to have the quality of coaches that we do. But I really did enjoy Mick’s coaching. He never stopped, throwing bp, hitting ground balls or fly balls, and he always gave his time to the girls without question. He was tough, and he taught us so much. He was also very entertaining when he would try and impersonate the girls’ batting or fielding actions. I think myself, and a lot of the girls would not have improved as much as we have without Mick’s support over so many years”.

In 9 years, Cass has witnessed many exciting moments at the club, but she is sure there is one in particular that she will never forget. “Super Saturday 2013 at Springvale, at 8am, our 3’s had to play 1 more inning to finish the preliminary final to see if we would make it to the Grand Final. Mind you, the Grand Final was being played in 2 hours time! It was crazy!”

“I remember the team being notified the night before that due to an administration error our prelim was not complete, and we needed to play an inning in the morning to determine the winner. It was an emotional rollercoaster. The team spent the night playing mini golf and then came out and won that one inning in the morning to make it into the Grand Final. It was such a great moment for me and the team. At that point, the Grand Final, and it’s result, became almost irrelevant”.

Whilst discussing her favourite thing about the club, Cass wanted to mention the great culture she has seen develop over a lot of years. “The support everyone provides each other, all the teams helping each other in the canteen, at training, on game days. The spirit around the club is so welcoming and friendly. You know you are going to have a good day when you come to the club, whether it’s to train, play or support the club. It’s just an enjoyable place to be, no matter who is playing on the day”.

A hard worker, regular at club working bees, social functions and the first to put her hand up to help out (this year an assistant coach in the tee-ball program), Cass has been able to see how other clubs work and how they compare. “During my time working on the BV Committee, I have spent time with a lot of women’s clubs in Victoria. It would be hard to find another club who has the culture and spirit that we have. Everyone is welcome, the training is great and we all enjoy playing the game together. We have an inclusive culture that encourages all players to get involved and have fun, in return, players are happy to help each other and the club when it’s needed”.

Cass was also keen to thank the club and committee for their work on organizing funding for the new female facilities. “I am really excited to see the new club room facilities when they are finished. A huge thanks to the committee and others who have worked so hard to make it happen”.

On behalf of the club, we say thanks to Cass for her contribution over the past 9 years. See Cass and the rest of the Women’s Seconds play on the special ‘20th Anniversary of Women’s Baseball Day’ @ Cheltenham Baseball Club, from 12.00pm v Melbourne.

Other games @ Cheltenham include:

Springvale 3’s @ 9.30am

Springvale 1’s @ 2.00pm

Stay tuned for our next article focusing on the players, coaches and staff involved in the Springy Women’s Program, celebrating our 20th Anniversary.