Monday, July 28, 2014

Matt Bates - 2013-14 Brisbane Bandits


From what I've been able to deduce, Bates is a local Queensland player who plays for the Runcorn Indians in the Brisbane Metro league. He had also previously made it onto the playing roster for Queensland in the old Claxton Shield. Bates was signed up as a relief pitcher for the Brisbane Bandits for the 2013-14 ABL season.


2013-14 Brisbane Bandits Matt Bates card front - ©2013 Adam East

Friday, July 25, 2014

Trent D'Antonio - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox


D'Antonio returned for his fourth ABL season with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2013-13 season. D'Antonio featured in one of the more controversial plays of the 2013-14 ABL season, stealing home in the 8th inning to break a tied 3-3 game against the Melbourne Aces. Both the Aces catcher and pitcher had thought that time had been called, with the pitcher stopping to tie his shoe laces at which point D'Antonio made the steal to home plate. The play would stand, and the game result stood as well despite an official protest by the Aces


2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Trent D'Antonio card front - © 2014 Adam East 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Matt Blazynski - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

Poor old Matt Blazynski, the man at the centre of an international baseball uproar. Blazynski is an American import who made it onto the Canberra Cavalry's 2013-14 roster for the ABL season but didn't end up playing a game. Blazynski did however end up making a name for himself during the 2013 Asia Series Championships. He claimed to have been approached in a bar and offered $30,000 to help the Cavalry lose their semi-final game. The Taiwanese police and the Chinese Professional Baseball League investigated the claims, with the CPBL issuing a statement saying that there were inconsistencies in Blazynski's statement and claimed it was a lie. Blazynski was later released by the Cavalry without playing a game, but they commented that it had nothing to do with the bribery claim, but the loss of a number of pitchers to injury that needed to be covered in roster moves.

There doesn't appear to have been any official resolution to the CPBL's decision to suspend cooperation and exchange activities with the ABL until it "apologises" for Blazynski's claim.

In the words of other commentators though, even if there were some inconsistencies with some details of the evening, it’s hard to imagine why someone would make up this match fixing claim, but it is easier to imagine why there would be a coverup by a league that has a history of betting scandals. Occam's Razor ...


2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Matt Blazynski card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ben Lodge - 2013-14 Adelaide Bite

The 2012-13 ABL Rookie of the Year returned to the Adelaide Bite for his third ABL season in 2013-14. He had a successful 2013-14 season, being elected as an ABL All Star and playing for the Australian national team against both the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2014 Opening Series exhibition games.

I did like the shot of Lodge seated and listening in with his team mates, but then decided it was too crowded, so went for a more conventional portrait shot of him for the alternate card front.


2013-14 Adelaide Bite Ben Lodge card front - © 2014 Adam East

2013-14 Adelaide Bite Ben Lodge alternate card front - © 2014 Adam East

Friday, July 18, 2014

Daniel Arribas - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox - Redux

I managed to get shots of many of the Sydney Blue Sox players in their "powder blue" uniform late in the season, after originally only having photos of them in their grey road uniform, so I've redone a lot of the Blue Sox player images.

This is my redux of Daniel Arribas' card. I'm happy to say that after his original comments, that Arribas did actually get his first ever official card made by Dingo. I hope he managed to actually get one.

2013-13 Sydney Blue Sox Daniel Arribas card front - © 2014 Adam East

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jack Frawley - 2013-14 Perth Heat

American born Frawley returned to the Perth Heat for his third ABL season in 2013-14. Frawley said in a pre-game interview that he was considering retiring after his start in the 2014 ABL Championship series, but I haven't heard if he's definitely hung up his glove.

Not the greatest of shots of Frawley, but then again, the pitchers in the bull pen are often to get decent photos of.


2013-14 Perth Heat Jack Frawley card front - © 2014 Adam East

Monday, July 14, 2014

Byron Wiley - 2013-14 Adelaide Bite


Wiley was one of a group of three American import players who were playing club level baseball in South Australia that were signed by the Adelaide Bite mid-way through the 2013-14 ABL season. Wiley had previously spent three years (2008-2010) in the minors playing for Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks organisation.

In 2013 he played for the Florence Freedom in the independent Frontier League. In 2014 he has moved on to the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association.


2013-14 Adelaide Bite Byron Wiley card front - © 2014 Adam East

Friday, July 11, 2014

Clint Everts - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

Besides getting a mention in  Michael Lewis' book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Everts other claim to fame is 11 seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organisation. Apparently Everts, who was drafted out of high school, is mentioned in the book by Oakland A's GM Billy Beane as the exception to the rule about not drafting kids out of high school.

Everts was released by the Blue Jays in 2013 and joined the Canberra Cavalry for the 2013-14 ABL season under the recommendation of fellow American import Jack Murphy.

In 2014 he's playing for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League.


2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Clint Everts card front - © 2014 Adam East

2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Clint Everts alternate card front - © 2014 Adam East

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Joshua Dean - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

Dean returned for his third ABL season with the Sydney Blue Sox in 2013-14 after not playing with Sydney in 2012-13. I liked this photo but probably should have done something to clone out the players in the background - they're a bit of a distraction.



2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Joshua Dean card front - © 2014 Adam East

Monday, July 7, 2014

Matt Dixon - 2013-14 Perth Heat

Perth youngster Dixon returned for his second active season with the Heat during the 2013-14 ABL season. He and I had a bit of a chat before one of the games. He'd ended up using my 2012-13 card design for him as a profile picture on Facebook.

I couldn't decide on which card shot to use for him. Despite getting a number of shots of him, I wasn't overly happy with any of them. He filled in during a game as catcher and I managed to get an action shot of him trapping a dirt ball. I liked the shot but don't think the cropping for the card captures it very well, and you can't tell it's him under all the protective gear. The alternative image is a shot of Dixon and Matt Kennelly with their arms around each other Again, I liked the shot, but for a card, unless you know that Dixon is the short one, you don't know which player is the focus of the card.


2013-14 Perth Heat Matt Dixon card front - © 2014 Adam East

2013-14 Perth Heat Matt Dixon alternate card front - © 2014 Adam East

Friday, July 4, 2014

Aaron Thompson - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

Thompson is a rare type of ABL player - one who switched clubs during an ABL season. Thompson had previously played for the Brisbane Bandits in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 ABL seasons, and started with them again at the start of the 2013-14 ABL season. He was however mainly used as pitching "insurance" on the Bandits' 30 man roster, usually not making it onto the regular 22 man playing roster for each series. After 2 games with Brisbane during the early part of the season, he and fellow Bandits team mate Steve Chambers joined the Canberra Cavalry, joining the starting rotation. It would seem to be a positive move for Thompson, noting that in 5 games with the Cavalry he  pitched more innings in the ABL than in the 4 previous seasons combined with the Bandits.


2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Aaron Thompson card front - © 2014 Adam East

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jeff Lyons - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

Lyons is an American import who played with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2013-14 ABl season. Lyons spent 2013 playing for the White Sands Pupfish in the independent Pecos League, before coming out to Australia and playing local club ball with the Penrith Panthers in the NSW State Baseball League. He was signed by the Blue Sox part way into the ABL season to add to their pitching options.



2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Jeff Lyons card front - © 2014 Adam East

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tucker Nathans - 2013-14 Perth Heat

Nathans was an American import who played with the Perth Heat during the 2013-14 ABL season. Nathans had spent 2011 and 2012 playing in independent leagues before being signed by the Baltimore Orioles. In 2013 he played for the Delmarva Shorebirds in the A level South Atlantic League. In 2014 he has graduated to the high A Frederick Keys in the Carolina League.


2013-14 Perth Heat Tucker Nathans card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, June 27, 2014

Josh Davies - 2013-14 Melbourne Aces

Aussie born Davies returned for his fourth ABL season with the Melbourne Aces in the 2013-14 season.


2013-14 Melbourne Aces Josh Davies card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Todd Van Steensel - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

Phillies. Twins. Twins. Having already been signed and released previously by Philadelphia and Minnesota, Van Steensel was once again signed by the Twins in February of this year, and is playing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Twins' Classl A Midwest League affiliate. Van Steensel spent the 2013-14 ABL season playing for the Sydney Blue Sox - his fourth straight season with them.



2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Todd Van Steensel card front - © 2014 Adam East