DOB: 29 May 1920
Died: 9 February 1942
From: Mildura High School/Merbein
Number: 11 1939-1940
Ball was recruited after playing one senior season at Merbein, Demon scouts travelled to sign Ian Giles and decided to have a look at the 189cm ruckman while they were there. Giles played just six matches, but in Ball the Redlegs found a premiership ruckman/defender.
Named Best First Year Player award in his first year, Ball rounded out his first year with a premiership triumph. Enlisting for the armed forces during his second year, Ball gave up his second job as a groundsman at the MCG and travelled to Melbourne by train three times a week to continue playing VFL football.
Lucky for the reds that he did, as it was Ball's 15 marks in the wet during the 1940 Preliminary Final which helped earn his side the chance at back-to-back flags. His marking was again a highlight in the Grand Final where he was named amongst the best players in Melbourne's triumph.
Ball left for active duty with the Australian Army Medical Corps in Singapore in February of 1941. He coached a Field Ambulance side in Malaya and captained them in an army exhibition game against the team of Fitzroy champion Wilfred "Chicken" Smallhorn (who was forced into umpiring only due to injury). He also led the AIF in a match against the Air Force but when the Japanese attacked Singapore in February 1942, Ball and three colleagues were captured by the invading forces and killed.
The Best First Year Player award was subsequently named in his honour.
Weekly Times - 16/09/1939
"Hal Ball, Melbourne's lucky find" - Sporting Globe 25/09/1940
Examiner - 27/06/1941
Sporting Globe - 09/07/1941
Mercury - 18/12/1941
"Melbourne player missing" - The Argus 25/02/1942