West City Baseball Club’s inaugural campaign took place in the spring of 1997. Team president Wayne McCullough had moved back to West Auckland, and become aware of a corner spot on McLeod Park, Te Atatu that could be used to create a permanent infield. This was preferable to Stafford Park, which was only a temporary field that had to be removed every winter to allow for New Zealand’s ‘national’ game – rugby. As most of the Blue Jays team members lived in West Auckland, the move was beneficial to all.
In the spring of 1997,McCullough set up a meeting at McLeod Park for people interest in playing baseball. One of these was Mike Rielly, who would go on to become West City’s senior/coach for several seasons. After drawing out the field position and dimensions, McCullough and other members of the fledgling club approached the city council and the local soccer club about playing baseball at McLeod Park, receiving a positive response from both organisations.
The first big event for the club was in 1999, when the New Zealand Baseball Federation awarded West Auckland City the right to host an All-Star day for local and regional clubs. The event was a big success, attracting players from all teams in the senior league, including some from as far away as Hamilton. The All-Star game concluded with an awards ceremony.
In August 2000, and 2001 McLeod Park was host to a visiting team of Under-19 players from the United States, who, through the sponsorship of an organisation called People to People, were able to come to New Zealand and play baseball games against West City and other clubs.
2002 saw the club become a official incorporated organisation – West City Baseball Club Incorporated – under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 becoming a separate legal entity, giving notice that it was here to stay.
In 2007 Wayne McCullough stepped down the position of president from the club and Gareth Hooton was elected to take over as Club President, ready to take West City Baseball to a new level.
West City senior team has been the most dominant team in the country, winning the Auckland Championship on a regular occurrence over the past 12 seasons, and at present it is the three-time defending National Club Champions, winning the title in 2006,2007, and 2009.
Spring 2008 saw Alan Lotze take the reigns as Head Coach of the West City Baseball Premier team taking them to 20 – 5 in his first season, taking out the Auckland title again, and claiming back the 2009 National Club Championship.
The McLeod Park baseball diamond opened officially on Saturday, 1 Nov 2014. Henderson-Massey Local Board Chair Vanessa Neeson ready to throw out the first pitch. Two games were played during the day between Central City and Te Puru Baseball Clubs, while spectators were able to test their arm against the radar gun. In addition to the baseball activities there was also lots of activities for the whole family including bouncy castles and free American style foods including hotdogs, popcorn and ice-cream. A great day out at the ball park.
The 2021 Prizegiving saw Wayne McCullough honoured with West City’s first Life Membership for his outstanding contribution to the Club and Baseball over the years.
The end of the 20/21 Season saw a changing of the guard, with 4 new Board Members joining Phil Wratt as the only remaining Member left standing. Wayne’s dedication to Baseball continues, as he is now back as President, and the new Board are extremely excited about the road ahead.
Commitment & drive is at an all-time high, with the Board focusing on getting set up for the season ahead, looking to growing the club so that it can get back to the glory days of old and creating an inclusive club culture.