A former Broken Hill local got that winning feeling one last time before hanging up his mitt last weekend.
David ‘Mitch’ Mitchell played his last baseball game on March 5 rounding off a playing career that spanned six decades.
Mitchell, 73, said it was an “emotional” farewell at his retirement game for the Glenelg Tigers Baseball Club.
“My whole family was there to watch the last game,” he said. “It was a really good day.”
His division seven team secured a 12-0 win on his final outing but was not enough to claim a finals spot.
Ex-teammate and friend Michael Colmer from Broken Hill also came out of his retirement to feature in the special occasion.
Mitchell has played with the Tigers since 2004 after relocating to Adelaide two years prior.
His passion for the sport started at the age of 12 when he and other youngsters were divided into the town’s first competitive league.
During Mitchell’s junior days, he won the under 16s best and fairest before collecting five major MVP honours in the A grade competition.
“I have a cupboard full of trophies but these are quite special,” he said.
Other highlights include lifting his first premiership with Broken Hill Redsox Club and representing Broken Hill in the SA Country Championships from 1972 to 1994, winning nine titles.
He is also a life member of the Redsox, Broken Hill Baseball Association and inaugural South Australian Country Baseball Association.
“We were a combined Broken Hill team, so it brought us all together,” Mitchell said.
“It also improved how the team performed because we had one common goal. The standard of baseball skyrocketed at that time.”
He said all the memories will be cherished forever but admitted he didn’t expect to play for such a long time.
“It’s been a big part of my life,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had any arm injuries.”
A scheduled knee replacement has forced him into the decision to end his time on the field.
Mitchell urges baseballers to stay on until they believe they can no longer go on.
“I’ve always encouraged people to play as long as they are enjoying it,” he said.
“The standard might drop but if you are still physically capable, keep going.”
He thanked the Glenelg Baseball Club and all of his former teammates.