The Melbourne Baseball Club is deeply saddened at the passing of Club legend Les Arthur. Les died peacefully this week after a long battle with cancer.
Les was much loved and respected by everyone that was involved with the club and will be sorely missed by all.
Les has a long history of volunteering at the club since 1974, including Junior coaching and Committee work. He was Club Chairman for 4 years around the same time.
When Ross was recruited in 1974, the section gained an added bonus in that with his parents Les and Merle, also came his brother Gary. Before coming to Melbourne, Les had a very successful career as a Senior coach in the Diamond Valley Association.
In 1982 / 83 Melbourne formed their first autonomous Junior section and Les became the first Junior Chairman in the Club’s history. The following year, Les coached his first junior side, Under 15, at Melbourne. This entry into junior coaching at Melbourne saw Les become the most successful coach of juniors in the Club’s history, coaching premiership sides in four consecutive seasons 1984 / 85 Under 15, 1985 / 86 Under 15 and 1986 / 87 the Under 17 side coached by Les became the first junior side in the Club’s history to win the State Championship in any group. In season 1987 / 88 Les coached the Club’s 2nds to a Division 2 premiership.
As a natural progression, Les joined the senior committee of the club and in our centenary year of 1988 / 89 was Club Chairman and therefore heavily involved in organising the many outstanding functions the club had in that season. The most memorable of which was the centenary dinner held in the long room at the MCG. Les retired as Chairman in 1992 / 93. During his time as chairman the club boasted over 30 Company sponsors within its ranks. However, perhaps the most memorable function that Les assisted in was in 1986 when he met “Hall Of Fame” legend Stan Musial of the St Louis Cardinals and helped run the dinner in Stan’s honour at the MCG.
Like sons Ross and Gary, Les was also actively involved with our Masters team for many years.
Les along with wife Merle, were made Life Members of the club in 1989.
Les rarely missed Melbourne baseball games over the past 5 or 6 decades and would often travel to watch lower grade games before returning to watch the Seniors at Surrey Park.
The Arthur name has been synonymous with the club since the 1970s with Ross sons Ross and Gary having long playing and coaching careers and Grandsons Tom and James also representing the Club.
He watched and enjoyed the Grand Final win by our 4th Nine only a few weeks ago.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Merle, Ross & Michelle, Gail, Tom & Megan and the extended Arthur family.
The funeral service for Les Arthur will be held this Friday 28th May at
420 Warrandyte-Ringwood Road
Refreshments will be served at the same venue following the Service.