Farewell ‘toast’ to Ipswich sporting larrikin
THE Ipswich sporting community has lost one of its favourite storytellers.
Ipswich Musketeers great Bruce Ogden was well known for sharing a beer and a laugh, often at the Coronation Hotel.
The club is planning a memorial day for Bruce when COVID-19 restrictions ease and baseball can be played again.
"It's with a heavy heart that we found out that Bruce had lost his battle after a long illness,'' said long-serving club official and good mate Brian "Ziggy'' Zeidler.
"He was a larrikin, a rough diamond and there's plenty of stories about Bruce, his mates, friends and opposition players could tell you about him.
"He will never be forgotten.''
Bruce was 72.
He had a new valve replaced in his heart at an early age and then at 48 years of age had a leaking aorta repaired at Prince Charles Hospital.
Bruce was one of Musketeers first junior baseball players at the age of 14.
Along with Tom McManus, George Armstrong, Dale Barnard and Zeidler, he was picked in the Queensland under 15 team to play a series in Sydney.
Bruce was a champion cricketer and his dad Joe Ogden played baseball for Australia in a match at the exhibition ground in Brisbane against the touring Japanese side.
Joe was the only player to record a hit in that game from the Australian side and ended up with a nickname of "Japanese Joe''.
The touring side presented him with a trophy for his hit.
Zeidler said Bruce had great hand eye co-ordination and excelled at all bat and ball sports.
At Musketeers Baseball Club he won numerous batting and fielding trophies and was a great team player.
He coached junior and senior grades and excelled in the catching position where he caught to many of Musketeers top pitchers, including Dan Ludwig, Alan and Bill Doyle, Clive Jones, Joe McDonald and Bill Bool.
Zeidler said Bruce asked him to play baseball after a cricket match. Bruce played for Central Boys School and Brian played for Christian Brothers.
Bruce scored 100 runs and took a lot of catches at wicketkeeper.
"He taught me to play baseball and I loved it,'' Zeidler said.
"We started at the age of 14 and were great mates for nearly 60 years.''
Bruce was married to Roslyn and had children Jammie and Vicki.
Sadly Jammie and Roslyn passed away.
Bruce had a lifetime partner with Carol Wilks. They travelled a lot especially out west to Barcaldine where Bruce's uncle owned a hotel.
Zeidler said Carol looked after Bruce during his illness and was lucky to have a fantastic person like Carol.
Details of the planned Musketeers memorial day for Bruce will be made available at a later date.
There are plans to livestream his funeral on Wednesday.