SOFTBALL is a major participant sport in New Zealand, and the national softball teams have enjoyed remarkable success in international competition. The Hutt Valley is where it all began, and the Valley became – and remains – both a nursery and a powerhouse of national softball excellence.
The Hutt Valley Softball Association was formed in 1945 and began organizing official competitions in the rapidly growing baby-boomer Valley. Fierce rivalries developed, and before long the top pitchers, catchers and batters were creating their own fan clubs and local legends. The sport grew, the skills grew and the Hutt Valley men’s and women’s teams became the benchmark for the rest of the country.
Hutt Valley remains a softball powerhouse today. Many captains and coaches of the national teams - the Black Sox men and White Sox women – have been Hutt Valley players, and the famous names of the past are repeated in the children and grandchildren of the pioneers.
“70 years is an amazing length of time considering what Hutt Valley softball had provided to the community and in fact the National sporting scene, so it was a challenge to anyone to put together a documentary that would recognize these achievements.
The end product, “Batter Up” is an outstanding production that not only records the past but also the future of softball in ‘the Valley’ and also interacts with the community that was built by the State during the 1950’s.
The production was presented on time and within a very tight budget which again acknowledges the ability of the Production crew to meet both time and financial guidelines.
I would recommend both Bytesize Productions and Aspire Design to any organisation considering making a professional and appealing production of their business, history, or product to the consumer.”
HV Marist Softball Club.
“As a lifelong softballer and sports journalist currently researching the history of New Zealand softball, I had some contact with the Bytesize–Aspire team in terms of assisting with some historical information. I was very impressed with their professionalism and enthusiasm for the project and the final product was outstanding. Batter Up! will serve as an invaluable resource for future generations of New Zealand softballers. I would unreservedly recommend Bytesize Productions to any New Zealand sporting organisation seeking a first-class documentary record.”
Tony Smith, Christchurch
Pitcher John Dawson, who also represented New Zealand many times, remembers the strong family nature of the game. “Each softball club was run by a very strong family who drove things along. With Railways it was the Jeromsen’s and Herberts. You can’t think of Cardinals without thinking of the Baldwins and the Sorensens. Marist had the Sherrys, the Saints had the Shaws, the Dodgers had the Austin family. Roy Dalton organised Hutt City club from virtually nothing. Socialising with all the families involved was a big part of softball and it’s one of the reasons why it was so successful in the Valley” says John.