Friday, September 21, 2018

Michael Campbell - 2017-18 Sydney Blue Sox

From the Toronto baseball club - the Toronto Tigers baseball club from Newcastle, NSW -  Campbell returned for his second ABL season with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2017-18 ABL season.

2017-18 Sydney Blue Sox Michael Campbell card front - ©2018 Adam East

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Jess Williams - 2017-18 Perth Heat

Perth youngster Williams made his ABL debut with the Perth Heat during 2016-17 and returned for his second ABL season in 2017-18. He was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2017-18 ABL season and started in the Brewers farm system in 2018, playing for the their rookie level team in the Arizona League.

2017-18 Perth Heat Jess Williams card front -©2018 Adam East

2017-18 Perth Heat Jess Williams alternate card front -©2018 Adam East

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hei-Chun Lee (이혜천) - 2017-18 Melbourne Aces

Former NPB and KBO player Lee returned for his third ABL season in 2017-18 but made a move from the Adelaide Bite to the Melbourne Aces. Lee does have some history playing local club ball in South Australia during the northern winters before his inclusion on the Bite roster.

2017-18 Melbourne Aces Hei-Chun Lee card front - ©2018 Adam East

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ryan Battaglia - 2018-19 [ABL Graphic] Brisbane Bandits

Another in the series of resized ABL social media images to make it look card like. This image is of Aussie player Ryan Battaglia announcing that he has signed on for a ninth season with the Brisbane Bandits for the 2018-19 ABL season and is heading towards the 200-game milestone.

Ryan Battaglia image from the Australian Baseball League Facebook page turned into a virtual card caption

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Aaron Whitefield - 2018-19 [ABL Graphic] Adelaide Bite

Another in the series of resized ABL social media images to make it look card like. This image is of Aussie player Aaron Whitefield announcing that he has made the switch from the Brisbane Bandits to the Adelaide Bite for the 2018-19 ABL season.

Aaron Whitefield mage from the Australian Baseball League Facebook page turned into a virtual card

Friday, September 14, 2018

Taylor Jockers - 2017-18 Canberra Cavalry

Jockers is an American import who played with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2017-18 ABL season. Jockers has previously spent time as an import playing club level ball in both the ACT and NSW South Coast after graduating from the Texas Wesleyan University in the USA.

2017-18 Canberra Cavalry Taylor Jockers card front - ©2018 Adam East

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Justin Erasmus - 2017-18 Brisbane Bandits

Veteran Brisbane Bandit player Erasmus returned for his eighth year with the Bandits during the 2017-18 ABL season. Erasmus spent 2017 playing for the Heidenheim Heidekoepfe in the German Baseball-Bundesliga.

2017-18 Brisbane Bandits Justin Erasmus card front - ©2018 Adam East

Monday, September 10, 2018

Tim Day - 2017-18 Adelaide Bite

Day is one of several Aussie players throughout the league who seemed to get their second bite of the ABL apple during the 2017-18 ABL season. Day made his ABL debut with the Adelaide Bite back during the 2012-13 ABL season, making a five year gap between his return in 2017-18. It appears that Tim is a bit of the black sheep in his family by being a baseballer - a number of his relatives have appeared elite Australian Rules Football at the AFL/VFL/SANFL level.

2017-18 Adelaide Bite Tim Day card front - ©2018 Adam East

The life of a bullpen pitcher ... forever waiting.

2017-18 Adelaide Bite Tim Day card front - ©2018 Adam East


Friday, September 7, 2018

Sven Schüller - 2017-18 Sydney Blue Sox

German import and member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organisation Schüller returned for his second season in the ABL with the Sydney Blue Sox during 2017-18. In 2017 and 2018 he has split time between the Great Lakes Loons and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers’ Single and Advanced A affiliates, along with a single appearance with the Triple A Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2018.

2017-18 Sydney Blue Sox Sven Schüller card front - ©2018 Adam East

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Daniel Schmidt - 2017-18 Perth Heat

Schmidt is a veteran from the Perth Heat roster who played his eighth season in the ABL with Perth during the 2017-18 ABL season.

2017-18 Perth Heat Daniel Schmidt card front - ©2018 Adam East

2017-18 Perth Heat Daniel Schmidt card front - ©2018 Adam East

Monday, September 3, 2018

Darryl George - 2017-18 Melbourne Aces

The 2017-18 ABL season was George’s seventh ABL season with the Melbourne Aces. George was a member of the Japanese NPB’s Orix Buffaloes development roster in 2017 but failed to gain a place on the Buffaloes' playing roster during the NPB season.

2017-18 Melbourne Aces Darryl George card front - ©2018 Adam East
2017-18 Melbourne Aces Darryl George card front - ©2018 Adam East

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Josh Collmenter - 2018-19 [ABL Graphic] Auckland Tuatara

One other thing that has been noticeable during the 2018-19 pre-season has been a much greater amount of ABL information appearing in social media. Historically many of the ABL workings have felt like they’ve been done in a shroud of secrecy. Part of this new wave of information has been an influx of social media posts about player signings for the 2018-19 ABL season.

It also looks like they’ve got somebody with some good graphics skills to create images for the player signing announcements.

Image from the Australian Baseball League Facebook Page announcing Collmenter's signing with Auckland


All I could think of is that these would make some good looking cards. I’m hoping that the ABL has a card licensee this year and we see something like this.  I did a little bit of resizing of the ABL images and came up with the following card-like image. This image is of American import and MLB player Josh Collmenter who has signed to play with the Auckland Tuatara in the 2018-19 ABL season. Collmenter debuted in the Major Leagues witht he Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011, and itched in 214 MLB games between 2011 and 2017 with the Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves.

Josh Collmenter image from the Australian Baseball League Facebook page turned into a virtual card.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Australian Baseball League 2018-19 Expansion

There are some big changes happening with the ABL this year. The foremost being the expansion of the league from 6 to 8 teams. The two new teams are the Auckland Tuatara and Geelong-Korea.

The Auckland team is designed to give exposure for New Zealand players to semi-professional baseball and includes a number of players from their national team. Their nickname – Tuatara – is a lizard-like reptile native to New Zealand. (FYI, Tuatara is both singular and plural, so they aren’t the “tuataras”.) The team was called Auckland rather than New Zealand as they hope to have a second team in New Zealand in the future. For the 2018-19 season they will only play three series in New Zealand, with several “home” series to be played in Australia, possibly in regional locations. They will have a normal home and away schedule in future seasons once their permanent home ground is ready. They’ve confirmed that similar to the existing ABL team that they will be seeking to host MLB affiliated players to supplement their local players.

Auckland Tuatara Image from the Australian Baseball League's Facebook Page

The Geelong-Korea team will be a team comprising of up and coming South Korean players aiming to progress onto  KBO team rosters. The aim is to give the fringe KBO players more game time during their off-season, much in the same way the MLB affiliated players come down to Australia. Not a lot of additional information has been given around the team yet such as whether there's a nickname or colors except that they will be based in the city of Geelong here in Australia, thus giving Geelong a team in the ABL. I haven’t seen anything as to whether there will be any non-Korean players on the team.

Geelong-Korea logo from the Geelong-Korea Baseball Facebook page

The two new teams has resulted in the league splitting into two 4 team divisions:

The South West Division, consisting of:

  • Adelaide Bite
  • Geelong-Korea
  • Melbourne Aces
  • Perth Heat

The North East Divison

  • Auckland Tuatara
  • Brisbane Bandits
  • Canberra Cavalry
  • Sydney Blue Sox

This is actually a bit frustrating for me as there isn’t full home and away cross-divisional play, meaning I will only get to see 6 of the 8 teams play locally each season. My goal of photographing players from each team for this blog each year is now pretty much unobtainable. Add to that that due to interstate travel this year, I’ll actually miss out on one of the series and will therefore only get to see 5 teams play. I may have to try and invest in a baseball related road trip at some point during the summer, but I’m not sure how my wife or wallet will appreciate that 

Another change to the ABL is that the teams have moved to private ownership models and various benefactors have taken on responsibility with the various teams.  It will be interesting to see how this pans out and what changes willt ake place. I've already noticed one difference, but I'll talk about that in my next post.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Lee Mills - 2017-18 Canberra Cavalry

It’s been a number of years between ABL bites for local player Mills. He debuted with the Canberra Cavalry in 2011-12 and last played in 2012-13 but put the cleats back on again for the 2017-18 ABL season.

2017-18 Canberra Cavalry Lee Mills card front - ©2018 Adam East

2017-18 Canberra Cavalry Lee Mills alternate card front - ©2018 Adam East

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Jake Turcato - 2017-18 Brisbane Bandits

Turcato is an Aussie youngster who played his second ABL season with the Brisbane Bandits during the 2017-18 ABL season.
2017-18 Brisbane Bandits Jake Turcato card front - ©2018 Adam East