Ipswich icon will long be remembered as "a real gentleman"
KEITH Suthers Snr will long be remembered as "a real gentleman'' and proud family man.
He was also a fine allround sportsman, especially in baseball where he pitched many outstanding games for Ipswich and Queensland.
The Musketeers life member and Baseball Queensland Hall of Fame inductee will leave a valuable legacy after passing away on Saturday.
Keith was 81.
As family and friends prepare for his funeral on Thursday, long-time Ipswich Musketeers manager Brian "Ziggy'' Zeidler shared a fitting story about Keith Snr's throwing ability.
Zeidler recalls a day at the old Ipswich baseball grounds at Spring Street - some would say Keith Snr's second home.
The club held a longest throwing competition with Keith Snr down to the last three with two other respected players - Dennis Schuler and Nev Brockie.
"Brockie hit the bottom of the net, Schuler hit the net on the full and Keith Suthers threw it over the backstop,'' Zeidler said.
"Everyone was amazed.''
Keith was a member of the original Musketeers team in 1954.
He was a highly regarded starting pitcher and administrator, loyal club man and proud family supporter of the game in Ipswich.
Keith played his entire club career with Musketeers, from the foundation days until the 1980s.
He represented Queensland as a pitcher and handy batter from 1961-63, 1964 and 1969. He played in the Whatmore Cup for Ipswich and Claxton Shield for Queensland.
The popular sporting identity held executive positions with Musketeers, including about 25 years as secretary. He had a short stint as president before his sons took on other important club roles.
While baseball was the game he excelled in, Keith had many other sporting achievements.
They included representing Ipswich in Slade Shield and 4BK cricket competitions during the 1960s and playing for Brothers A grade side (1950-1960s).
In tennis, he played pennant grade in the 1960s, also winning A grade singles titles.
He represented Ipswich in table tennis as a junior.
Zeidler and another club stalwart John Howells visited Keith at his North Ipswich home on Wednesday. It was the last time they were to chat together.
"He was a very reserved man, very quiet, but ran a tight ship,'' Zeidler said.
Keith Snr played an important role during Musketeers' most successful baseball era in the 1980s.
Keith Snr always supported his sporting family with sons Keith Jnr, Greg and David also being top level players.
Keith Snr and wife Claire's daughters Kaye, Jan and Cathie were scorers.
"He used to mow the ground,'' Zeidler said of Ipswich's former baseball headquarters.
"His whole family looked after Spring Street. That was his pride and joy.
"He just loved his family.''
Thursday's funeral for John "Keith'' Suthers is at 10.30am at St Joseph's Catholic Church, North Ipswich.