The Don Deeble Rising Sport Star Award
In May of 2001, the Sunshine and Western Region Sports Club decided to create an Award named after the late member Don Deeble, one of the greatest sportsmen to come from the Western Suburbs of Melbourne.
The Club's Committee decided that they would nominate a young sportsperson at each of our monthly meetings, with the annual award being presented in January of each year. The award would be presented to a sportsperson that is performing at State or National level, or shows the potential that one day they may perform on such a stage. The nominee should reside within the five councils that make up Melbourne's Western Region, namely Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Shire of Melton and Wyndham.
Don Deeble was arguably the best baseball player that this country has ever produced. A pioneer in his sport, Don first played baseball for Sunshine as an enthusiastic 16 year old, after playing the sport at school. A hard hitting left handed bat, Don quickly established himself as a fine first baseman, collecting the Club's Best & Fairest Award in his first three seasons. He would win the award a further six times before the end of his career.
After being spotted by one of the State's top referees, Don was invited to train with A-Grade Club St. Kilda. He immediately made his way into their side and before long Deeble was under the eye of State Selectors.
He first represented Victoria in 1954, at the age of 21, and was awarded the best player for State in his first carnival. After quickly carving a name for himself at State Level, Don was selected in the Australian All-Star side that same year. This was the beginning of a 16 year association with representative baseball. He played for Victoria in 1954, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67 & 1968, he represented his country in 1954, 57, 64, 65, 67 & 1969.
After a brief stint interstate, he returned to St. Kilda before switching to Sunshine. He led the Club for 12 years before transferring to Preston to finish his career.
In 1969 he captained the Australian Team against Japan in Sydney and later took part in the first Australian Tour to Manila.
In his younger days, Don excelled on the cricket field as well, being an opening batsman for District Club Footscray and spent many summers as Captain of Sub-District Club Sunshine. The Sunshine Cricket Club's Best ever Team boasts the name of Don Deeble.
In December 2000, he was awarded as Australian Sport Medal for his services to Baseball.