Ben Shom - Born 20 March 1919
Baseball Australia Hall of Fame Inductee 2018
Ben Shom started his playing career in 1936 at the age of 17 which was the inaugural year of baseball in Western Australia. His first club was Boans Bitters which was sponsored by Boans Department Stores. He soon moved to the Victoria Park Baseball Club where he became a star player in the WA State League.
Shom was the league’s outstanding shortstop and a feared hitter throughout his career. He became the Club’s captain/coach and led Victoria Park to its first premiership in 1946. In 1952, Shom moved to the Northern Suburbs Club and coached them for several years where he continued to dominate the competition both on the field and at the plate.
In 1946, Shom played a prominent role in a three-game interstate series against South Australia. During the Perth games, Shom batted in the winning run in Game 2 and scored the winning run in Game 3. Ben was the only Australian to score a run in a 4th of July 1943 Independence Day celebration game against a United States Service team in Brisbane. Shom, who was stationed in Papua New Guinea in the Australian Army, was flown to Brisbane for the game and went two from four at the plate.
Shom was a key player in W.A.'s 1952 victorious Claxton Shield Team. During the 1952 Claxton Shield series, Shom starred in a record-breaking game of 16 innings leading his side with three hits. His third hit was a single and he quickly stole second. Charlie Puckett was up to bat and his single to centre-field allowed Shom to score the only run in a 1-0 ballgame. Shom also contributed in the final game of the series, laying down a perfect bunt to see Puckett score a run.
Below is a sample of some of Ben’s achievements:
- Claxton Shield All-Star 1943, 1952
- Claxton Shield Team Member 1939, 1946-1950, 1952
- Claxton Shield Team Captain 1949, 1950
- Claxton Shield Champion 1952 (1st WA win in history)
“I was a junior player in the Victoria Park Baseball Club and had the opportunity to watch Ben Shom play for several years. He was an outstanding infielder, exceptional hitter and was lightning on the basepaths. He seemed to be able to turn games around with his bat, glove and speed. He was one of the stars of baseball in Perth during that era.”
Doug Corker - Teammate, Victoria Park Baseball Club