GOB Award

Sportsmen and women all agree that crowds are a vital ingredient at any sporting event. Spectators create atmosphere and at times urge on great sporting feats. There are the intellectuals, the serious, the astute, and at the other end of the scale, the rowdy, and of course, the yobbo.
  Many will marvel at the wizardry of Shane Warne, be awe-struck at the awesome power of a Greg Norman drive off the tee or a Goran Ivanisevic serve, or be bedazzled by the brilliance of an Allan Border cover drive or the overall agility of Andre Agassi.
There is however a certain breed of spectator who at times stands out over the rest. They may have themselves failed to play sport but their presence is more or less obligatory.You may find them in Bay 13 or on the Sydney Hill and they can be heard behind home plate in any baseball park in the world. They are a strong and traditional link between sport and the stage. I refer to those gifted gabs, the Mouths from the South, they are of course, with beer can in hand, the masters of the one liner.
  In recognition of these warriors of wit, the purveyors of pun, the Frankston Baseball Club 'GOB' AWARD was born. The name of the award is an acronym of its inventors, 'Gloury' (Peter) and 'O'Brien' (Mark). It was decided that this award be a bottle of champagne, a demijohn at that, the contents of which would enhance the acidic tongues of the winners! It has not been possible to recall every comment made by every winner but since 1975 when the inaugural winner - Neil Killian - uttered, 'Who shook the pig trough!' to Mornington's Steve 'Piggy' Bowen, subsequent winners have brought their own brand of humour and notoriety to the award.
  One worthy winner of wit who readily comes to mind is Paul 'Macca' McGrath. Paul's mouth came into play at a match against Noble Park. The Orioles have produced some aggressive players but none more so than the late Tommy Shanks. Tommy had a passion for playing hard and if there was a fight to be had, Tommy was there. You see, Tommy's philosophy was that if you can't win the game, at least win the fight! Nothing, we thought, could hurt Tommy. Unfortunately for Tommy that day, he received a nasty fast-ball to the face. It may have been age creeping up or a long day in the field, but Tommy went down.
  Now Paul, being the gentleman he is, never fully shared Tommy's beliefs and with Tommy down and thoughts of calling for an ambulance, Paul cried out, 'Has anyone called the panel beater yet?' I should point out that Tommy survived and went on to fight another day.
  Another winner was Jim 'Smithy' Prokhovnik. Jim's famous 'mouthing' was made in a game against Chelsea. The umpire was Warren 'Noddy' Harding. Now Warren was not of slim build. You could safely describe his girth as expansive, huge, whatever. On this particular day Warren became worried about the failing light and promptly ordered, 'Hustle on the field, the light's getting worse!' To which Jim replied, 'If you moved away from the sun the light wouldn't be a problem!'
  In case you are thinking that the award was only awarded to males, females also got into the act. One in particular was Lorraine 'I want to be a Coach' Court. Lorraine's one-liner was due to the inspirational affect it had on a certain player. Lorraine's day in the sun came at a match against Bonbeach. Frankston was having a bad day but none worse than Ian 'Polly' Pollard. 'Polly's' batting stats for 8 innings was none for nine i.e. no hits for 9 consecutive fresh-air swings. With 2 out, and bases loaded, guess who's time it was to bat ? You guessed it, 'Polly'.
  Now we have all heard the story of Babe Ruth taking 2 strikes before powering the ball out of the park. Well 'Polly', never one for taking a pitch, swung at the first two, and yes you guessed right again, 'Polly' missed! At that stage Lorraine yelled out to the Coach. 'Take him off. I can swing better than that on the dance floor!'
  Lorraine's comment must have had a profound effect on 'Polly' and I rather suspect that when he faced the third pitch he saw Lorraine's face painted all over the ball. With one mighty swing, 'Polly' powered the ball over centre-right field fence! One win for Frankston, and a permanent place in the history books for 'Polly'.
  But the criterion to win the award is not for outlandish comments solely directed at players and umpires. Robert Davis for example, received the award for his remarkable impersonations of players, officials and spectators at a Talent Night held at the Club.
  Another winner was Rob 'Brutus Beefcake' Wells. Rob always spoke his mind and told it how he saw it, often brutally! He would always have the last word and was as subtle as a Paul Keating tirade in the Lower House. Subtlety and diplomacy were never Rob's strong points. Rob would have been an earlier recipient of the award except the judging panel was duty bound (forced) to delete most of Rob's expletives.
  The year Rob did win the award was one when not a single 'GOB' nominee could be found right up to Presentation Night. Clearly, a miracle was needed. On this auspicious occasion, the unthinkable occurred, the thing most of us dreaded - 'Wellsie' won his first on-field Senior Trophy - Best Team Man!
  It wasn't so much Rob winning the trophy that worried the audience, it was the speech that he was likely to make. It may have been asking too much, but would we hear a speech synonymous of a Winston Churchill oration or perhaps, just perhaps, one imbued with due humility? Alas no. Rob's speech began and ended with one single, solitary word - 'Shit!' Enough said, Rob. The award was yours!
  As was the custom, 'Wellsie' handed back the award at the end of the following season. But egad! What was this? The cork in the magnum had actually risen to the point where it wanted to pop ! Could this be an omen? Was the award trying to have the last word? 'No way,' explained 'Wellsie', 'it must have happened when I left the magnum near the fire place over the winter. The heat must have broken the wire seal and expanded the glass causing the cork to rise.' 'Wellsie' should have been a physicist!
  It soon became apparent that the 'GOB' Award had met an untimely demise. After a mere 12 years it was decided that after the 1988 Premiership win the essence of the award's life be drained into anyone brave enough to sample its rather acrid contents and so it came to pass, the 'GOB' Award was no more.
  The one-liners have of course kept flowing over the years but alas, the 'GOB' Award was never revived.


1975 - Neil Killian
1976 - Bill O'Brien
1977 - Neil Baxter
1978 - Ken Bray
1979 - Lorraine Court
1980 - Paul McGrath
1981 - Peter Cooper
1982 - Garry Gibney
1983 - Robert Davis
1984 - Jim Prokhovink
1985 - Robert Wells
1986 - Gary Douglas

  Just in case you are incapable of reading the inscription on the 'GOB' Award, now safe and secure in the Club's trophy cabinet, it reads as follows:
  This magnificently aged Champagne is the product of 'Chateau Baseball.' Matured in genuine old leather gloves, and carefully filtered through the finest pure wool sweat shirts, it has body, a full nose, tantalising acidity, without having lost its original impudence.