DARREL BALDOCK was recruited from Latrobe ( Tasmania) by the St Kilda Saints 1n 1962 and played 119 Games, kicking 236 Goals until his retirement as a player at the end of the 1968 Season. He had established himself as the leading Tasmanian Footballer of his time and arrived at St Kilda with superstar status. Baldock was nicknamed “Doc” and almost immediately endeared himself to the General Football Public and the Football Media Scribes who labelled him “Mr Magic”, as he starred from Game One . The 1996 Hall Of Fame Card and cards of many St Kilda Saints Afl Football Players influenced by Baldock are available at qualityafltradingcards.com.
Baldock led the St Kilda forward line throughout his career with outstanding success, holding down the key Centre Half Forward position with aplomb, despite being considered too short for the role. He was very mobile, a one grab mark, superlative ball handler at ground level, highly effective at off-loading sharp, accurate handballs on either side and displayed precise footpassing skills with both feet. Baldock was renowned for his courage at all contests, his uncanny ability to evade opposition would-be tacklers, and with his perfect balance and low centre of gravity, he successfully rode many attempts to bump him off the line of the ball.
Darrel Baldock was a scrupulously fair player who was an inaugural inductee to the Australian Football League Hall of Fame in 1996, with his status updated to that of an AFL Legend in 2006. He was St Kilda Saints Club Captain from 1963 to 1968, and will forever be remembered as the Saints Captain of their one and only Premiership winning Team in 1966. Baldock won the St Kilda Best and Fairest Player Awards of 1962, 1963 and 1965, together with being the Clubs Leading Goalkicker for these seasons, as well as 1964. Darrel Baldock was selected as a Victorian State representative on 10 occasions and also played 15 games as a Tasmanian State player, and at a 2002 function, was named as the Captain of the St Kilda Saints Team of The Century at Centre Half Forward. In 2003 Baldock was unanimously named as the first “Legend” in the St Kilda Saints Football Club Hall of Fame.
Prior to arriving at St Kilda, Baldock had played 4 seasons with East Devonport ( 1955- 1958) and 3 seasons with Latrobe (1959- 1961), so when his VFL/AFL career ended, he returned to his beloved Tasmania to resume playing with Latrobe, from 1969- 1974. In 1972 , he was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament, a career he pursued until 1987, when he resigned to take up the position as Senior Coach at St Kilda. Darrel Baldock had an immediate positive impact by lifting the Saints off the bottom of the ladder, however he suffered health issues which affected his ability to deliver on a longer term plan
Baldock returned to Tasmania where he was named as the Captain of the Tasmanian Team of The Century in 2004. The Baldock Legacy is key to the fabric of the St Kilda Saints and those of us who witnessed the many masterful Baldock on-field performances, treasure the memories forever.
Further Reading- “Darrel Baldock- The Incomparable Mr Magic” – Author Peter Lyons, published in June 2010.
( Image courtesy of saints.com.au ).
2 February 2011- Darrel Baldock passed away today in Latrobe, Tasmania at the age of 72 years.
11 February 2011- A State Funeral was held today in honour of the late Darrel Baldock, with over 3000 people attending the Latrobe Football Ground to pay their respects to “Mr Magic” and his family.