Tigers Baseball & Softball Club has traced its origins back to 1976 when it first competed in a local Tee-Ball competition. The team was formed by Mr Lal Byers of the Epping Eastwood Soccer in an effort to try and prevent losing members to other Clubs which catered for the summer sporting seasons as well as Soccer during the Winter.
The team first competed in the Cumberland Junior Baseball Association and games were played at Pioneer Park, Marsfield. The Club grew and began to develop a number of highly skilled junior baseball players who went on to represent the successful NSW Under 13s and Under 15s state teams in the Australian Championships.
At some point in the mid-1980s the reigns of the then Epping Eastwood Junior Baseball Club were taken over by Nerida Noach and Leigh Swane and began competing in the Ryde Junior Baseball League which in 1986 became an autonomous League.
The Club continued to develop junior baseball within the community by registering teams of all age groups in the Ryde League which is now known as the Ryde Hornsby Junior Baseball League.
In 1987 the Northern Metropolitan Baseball League which had been conducting organised baseball competitions since its formation in 1983 was renamed the Pacific Coast Baseball League and then conducted all senior baseball competitions within the Ryde Hornsby and North Shore area. The Pacific Coast Baseball League continues to run organised senior baseball competitions and records suggest that Epping Eastwood had registered its first senior baseball team by 1992.
Construction of initial diamonds
In 1988, Councilor Greg Mckay approached Mr John Ristau (then affiliated with Parramatta Junior Baseball) and invited him to consider George Kendall Reserve as an appropriate location for baseball diamonds. It is the Club's understanding that at that time, the grounds at George Kendall had been unused for many years but Parramatta Junior Baseball was ultimately successful in an application to hire the grounds for the purposes of playing baseball.
Given that PCC had insufficient funds to construct the baseball diamonds, Parramatta Junior Baseball rallied and arranged for landfill to be transported to George Kendall from the old Dundas Drive In, the F4 motorway and Holy Cross College at Ryde. Under the guidance of PCC, in excess of 10,000 tonne of fill was used for the purposes of the baseball diamonds.
PCC then arranged to move the baseball netting from Cox Park, Dundas and it was then up to Parramatta Baseball to ensure sow seeds, install dugouts and seating and mow the playing fields before that role was taken over by PCC.
The Parramatta Junior Baseball Club ceased to exist but always had a strong relationship with the Tigers Baseball Club. Both Clubs competed in different competitions and catered for different areas. Tigers Baseball took over the use of all baseball diamonds at George Kendall Reserve and has successfully hired the baseball diamonds for 20+ years.
Construction of diamond 3 aka 'Gary Chong Diamond'
In the early to mid 1990s, Gary Chong oversaw the development of a second senior baseball diamond at George Kendall Reserve.
Council agreed to erect permanent netting and lay turf for the infield but the baseball diamond was far from complete. In addition to the work completed by Council, a great deal of time and effort was necessary to bring the rest of the field up to a satisfactory standard in order for the field to be available for its first senior baseball game. This included Gary methodically walking up and down the entire field to remove rocks and loose stones before mowing the entire field by hand. The painstaking task of trying to level the field was a process which was ongoing for many years.
Once established, Gary continued as the Club groundsman for many years which included weekly marking of the field and regular maintenance. He was also an active member of the Parks Committee.
In 2004, the Club's junior baseball teams were moved from Boronia Park to George Kendall Reserve.
In the mid-late 2000s, Parramatta Council upgraded "George Kendall Reserve" to be "George Kendall Riverside Park".
In 2010, diamond 3 was renamed the "Garry Chong Diamond" in recognition of Gary's hard work and dedication to the baseball diamonds.