Hamilton humbled by recognition

HONOURED: Jim Hamilton, centre, was honoured with the naming of a baseball diamond in his name. He is pictured with family members (from left) Sherri Hamilton, Dean Hamilton, Anthony Hamilton and Hayley Hamilton. PAID TRIBUTE: A big crowd gathered to pay tribute to a legend of the game of baseball and the South Indians club with the naming of the Jim Hamilton Field.
Nanjing Night Net

OVERWHELMED was the first word that came to Jim Hamilton when asked about the naming of a baseball diamond in his honour on Saturday, February 14.

“I got the biggest surprise of my life,” the South Indians stalwart told The Border Watch this week.

“I just couldn’t believe it.

“When you go on a committee you don’t expect these things, you go to help the club and when things like this come along, you think ‘why me?’.”

Over 100 people were at the ground for the naming of the diamond, which is now known as Jim Hamilton Field, with family, club and league dignitaries in attendance.

Hamilton has been involved with the Indians club and the Mount Gambier District Baseball League for the past 57 years and continues his involvement in his role as the club ground’s caretaker.

At 73 years-of-age Hamilton said he enjoyed many highlights over the years, which all revolved around the friends he had made along the way.

“It was not only the South guys but guys from other clubs as well,” he said.

“A lot of them call me grandpa now, some call me dinosaur and probably worse behind my back.

“In the early days baseball was played in the winter so I could play cricket in summer and baseball in winter.

“I remember Graham Greenwood and I were very good friends, even though he played with Federal and I played with South.

“We used to train and run together during the week and went away for the Victorian Provincial Baseball League.

“We went to Adelaide and played country championships.”

Despite dealing with health issues, Hamilton said he watches most games during the season, with his son Dean playing for South.

“If it’s cold I don’t go but I would say I’ve seen more than half the games this year,” he said.

“With Dean playing it’s motivation to go out and watch.”

And Hamilton likes what he sees with the club in its current form.

“I think the club’s more polished than years ago,” he said.

“They look after things a lot better.

“I’m happy with the committee at South.

“I think they are on the right track and have a very bright future.”

While Hamilton said he felt a sense of pride about the naming of the diamond, it was hard to describe.

“Words just can’t express my feelings,” he said.

“It was just absolutely fantastic I feel very humbled.”