Campbelltown Ghosts Baseball Club History

The Ghosts Baseball Club was first formed in 1952 and was the first baseball club in Campbelltown. Early games and training took place at Hurley Park in Campbelltown and the Ghosts colours were blue, white and gold. Many games were played on the area which is now Koshigaya Park & the Campbelltown Mall shopping centre.  At this time Ghosts were the holders of a licence to play Major League Baseball in the Sydney Competition and did.

In the 1970s’a rubbish tip existed at the corner of Woodlands Road & Karrabul Roads St Helens Park and when its maximum capacity was reached it was covered and turned in playing fields by the Campbelltown Council.

In late 1980 the Ghosts Baseball Club moved to their new home at the fields on the corner Woodlands & Karrabul Roads St Helens Park.  In 1981 Campbelltown Council moved an old weatherboard house to Woodlands fields and placed it on temporary piers.  The house was then sold to the Ghosts Baseball Club for the sum of $1.00. Interestingly enough those temporary piers were built by the Ghosts Major League team’s 1st Grade catcher, George Butcher who was a local ‘brickie’.  In addition, George built the original toilet block and adjoining equipment storage bunker as a service to his club.

In 1980 the current flood lights & towers were erected on the main field at Woodlands.  These lights were in fact then second hand and had come from the Harold Park Raceway.  In 1981 the first game of baseball was played under lights at Woodlands.

Over the next 20 years the Ghosts Clubhouse was used for many different activities including being the canteen, providing additional storage, as meeting rooms, presentation day venue and for the ‘odd’ party. 

The Campbelltown Ghosts Major League sides were at this time supported by the Bradbury Braves Junior Baseball Club whose colours were brown & yellow. (See Note 1) The Bradbury Braves teams trained at Woodlands however their games were played on the now Rosemeadow soccer fields on the western side Appin Road Rosemeadow.  Around this time the Bradbury Braves Junior Baseball Club merged with Ghosts Baseball and moved to their new home of the Woodland Road Baseball Complex as Ghosts. 

As the club was rapidly expanding Campbelltown Council levelled an area of bushland southeast of the main diamond which are now our top fields.  This area was cleared and left bare by the council and it subsequently took over 18 months before training could be safely carried out there.  Junior teams were asked to spend 30 minutes at the end of each training session to pick up rocks from that field. 

Buy the middle to late 80’s the top fields housing now surrounded the top fields.  The top fields were now good enough to be regularly hosting senior games and games. Unfortunately, it became necessary to limit the top fields to only junior games as too many balls where hitting the roofs of the surrounding homes.     

In the late 80’s the Bradbury Braves could no longer financially support the Ghosts Major League teams, so meetings were held with the Macarthur Baseball League and subsequently Ghosts surrendered the Major League Licence to the Macarthur Baseball League. 

In 1986 a tragic event occurred when a Ghosts Under 16 player Richard Allsworth was killed in a motor vehicle accident with his brother on Appin Road.  Richard was Ghosts first elite junior player.  Subsequently Richards parents donated his bat to the club and it became the main feature of the of a trophy called the “Richard Allsworth Trophy”.  This trophy is still awarded however it can only be awarded to a ‘second year’ Ghost under 16 player.  The trophy is not awarded on a yearly basis and was intended to only be awarded to a player in a season who was an elite player and had demonstrated strong ties and commitment to the Ghosts club and the local baseball community.  In addition, within the Woodland grounds a tree was planted with a permanent memorial below it in memory of Richard Allsworth.   In 2017 that memorial plaque was moved to the northern wall of the clubhouse looking over the main diamond.

In 1987 Ghosts Baseball Club & the Casper’s Baseball Club formed and commenced playing the first Winter League for senior players. It proved very popular in its first season with 9 teams playing and a senior winter league continues still.  A Summer Season for seniors successfully commenced in the following year also with a strong following which has led to today’s strong competitions in junior & senior baseball.

As the main field at Woodlands had been built on a general rubbish tip, subsidence was inevitable and in 1990 it was closed for 18 months for releveling.  This is the only time the field has been releveled in its history.

On the 1st of November of 1999 Campbelltown Ghosts Baseball Club became an Incorporated association. Also, in 1999, Ghosts Baseball Club applied for and were successful in receiving sponsorship from the Wests Leagues Sports Campbelltown and today are still the only standalone club receiving sponsorship from West Sports Campbelltown.  The Wests sponsorship plays a major role in enabling Ghosts Baseball to keep their playing fees down & providing equipment to junior club players.  In addition, many Ghosts teams and individual players have received monthly and yearly sporting awards through the Wests Sports Awards Program. 

In 2010 a brand-new building was constructed on the grounds by Campbelltown City Council which provided the club with a purpose-built canteen area, change rooms.   The old Ghosts Clubhouse was demolished to make way for the current car park. 

In 2016 an extension was added to the eastern end of the building constructed in 2000.  This extension added around 33% to the building size and proved multiple male & female toilets and a new groundsman’s storage area making it the most modern club house in the Macarthur League.   The old brick toilet & groundsman’s’ storage building was demolished.

In 2017 through a Community Building Grant won by Ghosts & the Campbelltown Council an automated irrigation system was installed on the top fields at a total cost of $87,000.

Note 1.

Pics – see historic uniform tab