Monday, September 9, 2013

Which ABL Team Should I Follow? - Melbourne Aces

If you like baseball and want to follow some games during the northern winter, why not check out the Australian Baseball League. This is the fourth in a series of articles about the teams of the ABL, and a lighthearted view about which team is right for you to support. Links to previous parts are below:

The Melbourne Aces
Uniform Design / Colour Scheme: Red, Midnight Blue and White, with Red being the dominant colour ... which I reckon is rubbish. I've been closely following the ABL since it's inception, and to me it's never been red, it's always been more of a brown. I've never realised it was meant to be red 'til I was preparing this article. How about we compromise and call it Muddy Red.
Mascot/Logo: Maverick the Pilot
Home City Characteristics: Melbourne is Australia's second largest city with a population of 4.2 million, and the capital city of the state of Victoria. Melbourne is known as Australia's sporting capital, and is renowned for attending sporting events in large numbers (although this has yet to eventuate for the Aces). Melbourne is also known as being a very cosmopolitan city, with good shopping, a wide variety of foods and many ethnic groups. It is claimed to have the city with the second largest Greek population in the world, only behind Athens, as well as large pockets of Italians and many other cultural groups.
End of Regular Season Standings: 
  • 2010-11: 4th (18-21)
  • 2011-12: 2nd (21-24) 
  • 2012-13: 6th (15-31)
Postseason Results: 
  • 2010-11: Eliminated in Semi-Finals Series
  • 2011-12: Lost the 2012 ABL Championship Series
  • 2012-13: Did not play in postseason
2012-13 Had Import Players from: Seibu Lions, Kansas City Royals
2012-13 Had Australian Players affiliated with: Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays
Past Players You Might Know:
  • Travis Blackley - recent Texas Rangers pitching acquisition Blackley hails from Melbourne and has played all three ABL seasons to date with the Aces. Since 2004, Blackley has played 81 MLB games between 5 different teams (Mariners, Giants, As, Astros and Rangers). His younger brother Adam also plays with the Aces.
Travis Blackley 2004 Topp's Finest 120

  • Justin Huber - Aussie outfielder who played 72 MLB games between 2005 and 2009 with the Royals, Padres and Twins. Huber has played all three ABL seasons with the Aces.
"Flashback" concept card by Adam East

  • Brad Harman.- Aussie infielder who played 6 MLB games with Philadelphia in 2008. Harman has been a member of the Aces since the 2011-12 ABL season.
2011-12 Melbourne Aces Brad Harman card front - © 2012 Adam East
  • Shane Lindsay - Aussie pitcher who has played with the Aces for the three ABL seasons to date. Lindsay has been a bit of a journeyman, having been a part of six different MLB organisations. He made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Chicago White Sox, but only managed 4 games and has yet to make it back for a second stint.

Reasons to follow this team:

  • If you're a fan of fighter planes or pilots
  • If you're a fan of the colour Muddy Red or the "Red, White and Blue" colour combination.
  • If you're of Greek or Italian heritage. 
  • If you're a fan of the Seibu Lions or Yomiuri Giants from the NPB, who have both sent players to the Aces..
  • If you're a fan of the Kansas City Royals
  • If you like teams with a number of ex-MLB players on it.

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