From Way Back in 2001
Following the passing of who was and for ever will be the worlds best cricketer BaggyCaps.com was proud to bring to Perth in 2001 an event hailed by many as the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Attended by hundreds of people of all ages it was an tremendous night of cricket related history, information and fun with all proceeds from the night going to the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children.
The 'Night of Bradman & Blades' brought to Perth a collection of the most amazing and prized items of Sir Donald Bradman cricketing equipment & memorabilia direct from the Bradman Museum in Bowral, NSW, Australia.
Accompanying the collection was Mr Richard Mulvaney (pictured below) who is the Director of the Bradman Museum and Bradman Foundation and who was also a close personal friend of Sir Donald. Following the passing of Sir Donald Baggy Caps in conjunction with Middlepeg & BaggyCaps.com we organised an event whereby the public were able to both view his cricket equipment and personal effects and hear all about the 'Don' as well.
Mr Mulvaney's discussions and speech about Sir Donald saw everyone in attendance (from the very young to the elderly) sitting and listening in an amazing show of total admiration for the 'Don'.
The night also saw Master Bat Maker James Laver hand crafting and giving an actual cricket bat making demonstration. James Laver is widely regarded by many international cricket players as one the finest cricket bat maker in the world today and his demonstration of hand crafting a cricket bat that night held everyone in awe.
“Nets” for the night were also set up so that people could have a hit with a range of Laver & Wood cricket bats, old historical cricket bats as well as that classic Dennis Lillee 'Aluminium Combat'. One day we would like to interview Dennis about the 'Combat' as its one of those classic / cool pieces of cricket history that the younger generation today remain unaware of. A rather funny story that night involved Justin Langer and the Dennis Lillee 'Combat'...see below.
Capping off the night was Australian International Test Batsman Justin Langer as one of the guest speakers of the evening.
Though the night was just before the Australian cricket team left for the Ashes Tour of England Justin was still very keen to donate his time as both a mark of his respect for Sir Donald and to help out Princess Margaret Hospital. Justin's speech brought the house down with stories about sharing a room with Merv Hughes on tour and so on. Justin also shared with us his personal experiences with Sir Donald.
After his speech Justin was actually quite keen to have a hit with the Dennis Lillee 'Combat' in the 'nets' we had set up that night. Now for those who have never had a hit with a 'Combat' all we can say is that it actually does have an almost half decent middle...but the middle is pretty darn hard to find as it is not the biggest middle out there in the world of pod shaving / aluminium TIG welding fabrication. Anyway...the very funny part of this yarn was that Justin found the middle EVERY SINGLE throw down...which we can assure you is something that very very few mere mortal people can do as the sweet spot of a Combat is tiny.
The night was a tremendous success and Baggy Caps was approached by numerous people and companies to help organise such events in the future. Perhaps a highlight by many there was being able to pick up the actual cricket bat that Sir Donald used to make his record score (a triple test century ) in England. Just holding that very same cleft of willow was and is an experience that is difficult to describe and the many that did that night all felt the same.