Former Ipswich and Australian baseballer Paul Coogan.
Former Ipswich and Australian baseballer Paul Coogan.

Why ‘Coogs’ was a powerful Ipswich force

BOMBER’S BLAST

TODAY’S Ipswich sporting spotlight is on champion baseballer Paul Lenard Coogan.

Nicknames: Coogs/Cougar.

Teams played for: Ipswich Musketeers 1978-95 (400+ games); Brisbane Bandits 1989-93 (94 games); Claxton Shield 1982-87 (120 games); Australia 1983-87 (20 games).

Awards: Most home runs for the season on five occasions (Musketeers), Best Batting Trophy in the Claxton Shield in 1987, Player of the Series in the 1987 Grand Final, Best and Fairest for Australia in Korea 1983.

Favourite teammate: Peter Vogler. He played with his heart on his sleeve and gave his best even when injuried. He was great to be around and was very funny at times. When it was time to be serious he would just switch on.

Favourite coach: Mike Young. A very knowledgeable man who always wanted to win. Defeat was never on the agenda and he trained us very hard. He was a generous man who got results on the field. I am still great mates with Mike.

What did you love about the sport: Everyone is involved in every play, round bat, round ball, skilful and can be a long game. Made a lot of great friends.

Paul Coogan.
Paul Coogan.

Do you follow the sport these days: Yes. I love watching the Major League, especially the playoffs. I just love the crowd participation. Whenever we are in the USA, I make sure we get to a game. Looking forward to getting to Fenway Park one day.

Other sports follow: Rugby league and golf (Majors).

Favourite destination: Fiji. I go twice a year and have been there about 30 times. Fijians are the most loveable people and make you feel so very welcome.

What are you up to these days: Play competition golf at Sandy Gallop and waiting for a knee replacement.

Christmas for fans

THE NRL has announced a May 28 return and this has given rugby league tragics (myself included) some great news in these bleak times.

Whether this date is achievable I don’t know. But I am sure the league will be working with all forms of government and medical experts to make sure it can return under the strictest protocols.

The players have a date to aim towards and can start to bulk up their training regimes before meeting their teammates face-to-face again in the coming weeks.

If all goes to plan, Thursday May 28 will be Christmas Day for league followers.

Quick thoughts

HEROES: 1. Ipswich Jets. It has been a tough year for the Jets with their season being canned but they haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. Each Wednesday is Wellbeing Wednesday where a player gives his three tips to keep a healthy well being while being isolated.

2. Ipswich cricket. Isn’t it great to see that the amalgamation of IWMCA and the Ipswich Logan Hornets starting to take some real shape. The pathway higher up the ladder can be achieved a lot easier by staying in Ipswich if it comes to fruition.

Villains: 1. Ben Cousins. The AFL superstar finally looked like he had pulled himself away from the drug scene but it all has come crashing down again with his latest arrest.

2. Jockey Luke Tarrant. This kid can ride but unfortunately now has a six-month suspension due to a verbal altercation that led to him headbutting another jockey.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1970 - Damien Fleming (Australian cricketer who achieved a hat-trick on debut).

2. 1973 - Lee Westwood (English golfer who has won tournaments on five different continents).

3. 1973 - Sachin Tendulkar (Indian cricketer regarded as one of the greatest batsman ever. He holds the record for most Test runs - 15,921).

4. 1996 - Ash Barty. Current world number one tennis player and Ipswich’s Golden Girl.

On this day: 1. 1894 - French cyclist Henri Desgrande rides 100km in a world record

time of 2.39.18.

2. 1981 - Bill Shoemaker rides his 8000th horse to victory.

3. 1981 - San Antonio blocks 20 Golden State Warriors shots to record an

NBA record.