Darrel John Baldock
29 September 1938
Place of birth
Devonport, TAS (7310)
2 February 2011 (aged 72)
Place of death
Latrobe, TAS (7307)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 206d
Last game: 29y 344d
Height and weight
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 84 kg
St. Kilda: 4
State of origin
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
Tasmania’s greatest export since the Granny Smith - he’s the core of St Kilda’s attack. Even though he’s short for a centre half forward, his almost uncanny ball control makes him one of the most feared men in the league.¹
Renowned for his pure football intelligence and uncanny ball handling skills, Darrel John Baldock - popularly referred to simply as "Doc" - enjoyed a superlative career in two states over twenty seasons. An immediate success with East Devonport where he won the club best and fairest in each of his first three seasons (1955, 1956, and 1957) and a Wander Medal in 1957, Baldock's somewhat rotund appearance, together with his lack of height and pace, belied his dazzling array of skills. As the cliche goes, "He often seemed to have the ball on a string" Between 1959 and 1961 he was captain-coach of Latrobe, winning a second Wander Medal in his first season with the club.
Baldock was an immediate success in the interstate arena, representing Tasmania for the first time in 1957 and performing with distinction in the 1958 and 1961 carnivals, the latter as captain.
On moving to St Kilda in 1962 he maintained his high standards, winning that club's best and fairest award in 1962, 1963 and 1965. He also represented the VFL on several occasions including the 1966 Hobart carnival when he captained his side to victory. Most memorably of all, perhaps, in 1966 he became the only St Kilda skipper in history to hold aloft the premiership cup after the Saints' nerve-eroding one-point grand final win over Collingwood.
Returning home in 1969, Baldock once again assumed the coaching mantle at Latrobe, steering his charges to a NWFU record four successive premierships between 1969 and 1972. He also continued to play exceptional football, exemplified by his courageous performances for Tasmania in the 1969 Adelaide carnival, his third Wander Medal that same year, and his excellent display in Tasmania's famous defeat of Western Australia at North Hobart in 1970.
Appointed captain-coach of TFL club New Norfolk in 1974, Baldock was forced to resign after just four games when, having earlier in the year been elected as the Labor member for Wilmot in the Tasmanian parliament, he was appointed Minister for Housing and Social Welfare. In 1987 he returned to football as coach of St Kilda, but his impact on the team was undermined by illness, and in three seasons in charge he was unable to propel the Saints above tenth place on the ladder. Few if any Saints fans would choose to blame him for this, however, preferring to luxuriate in the recollection of his achievements as a player.
Baldock's status as one of the greatest Tasmanian footballers of all time was reinforced in 2004 with his selection as captain of that state's official "Team of the Century" and the following year by his induction as an icon in the official Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame. His playing career comprised a total of 397 senior games made up of 71 for East Devonport, 158 with Latrobe, 119 for St Kilda, four for New Norfolk, 15 interstate games for Tasmania and 10 for the VFL, and 20 intrastate appearances for the NWFU.
Author - John Devaney
1. Lou Richards, VFL 1965 Mobil Footy Photos card number 1.