Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chris Oxspring - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

Former Australian Major League Baseballer Chris Oxspring was one of the marqueeplayers  for the Blue Sox in my opinion. The Blue Sox were very fortunate to have two Australian pitchers with MLB experience - Oxspring and Brad Thomas. Add to that Korean legend Dae-Sung Koo, and their tally of three pitchers with Major League experience meant firepower in the bullpen.

Oxspring's career has highlights including playing MLB with the San Diego Padres, a 2004 Olympic Silver medal for Australia, stints with the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB and LG Twins in the KBO, and the privilege of throwing the first pitch of the inaugural ABL season in 2010-11.

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Chris Oxspring card front - © 2012 Adam East

Friday, June 29, 2012

Keiji Nakahara (中原恵司) - 2011-12 Brisbane Bandits

Nakahara was another of the Japanese imports from the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks to play for the Bandits in 2011-12. An outfielder who played 24 games, hit 4 Home Runs and batted in 15 runs.

I quite like both of these photos I took of of Keiji, so obviously a card made out of each.

2011-12 Brisbane Bandits Keiji Nakahara card front - © 2012 Adam Eas t

2011-12 Brisbane Bandits Keiji Nakahara alternate card front - © 2012 Adam East

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rinku Singh - 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry

This is the 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry card for Rinku Singh. A much better photo than his Adelaide Bite 2011-12 card in my opinion.

2010-11 Canberra Cavalry Rinku Sungh card front - © 2012 Adam East

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Denny Almonte - 2011-12 Adelaide Bite

Almonte is a switch hitting Seattle Mariners prospect who played with the Bite last season. They got full use out of him, playing all 45 games. in 2012 Almonte is playing for the Jackson Generals in the AA level Southern League.

This photo wasn't a deliberate pose for me - although I think he may have held the position a fraction longer when he realised I was photographing him at the end of his practice swing - he appears to be looking right at the camera.

2011-12 Adelaide Bite Denny Almonte card front - © 2012 Adam East

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chris Mowday - 2011-12 Brisbane Bandits

Aussie pitcher Chris Mowday was a recognisable site at any ballpark with a substantial frame and a mass of long hair ... until his "Clip for Cancer" fundraising event . The Bandits early trip to Canberra meant that my last season's photo of him was before he was hair-free.

2011-12 Brisbane Bandits Chris Mowday card front - © 2012 Adam East

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mitch Graham - "Monochrome" Concept cards

Another design I'm playing around with. Trying to go with the colored photographic background. Whilst it seems to work OK for this shot of Mitch Graham of the Perth Heat, not many of my photos have similar dimensions of the player. Most are more close up torso shots, and so the faded background bleed from the side probably wouldn't work.  I'll have to experiment a bit more with other player shots to see if it's feasible for a wider range of photos.

"Monochrome" concept card - uniform front - Mitch Graham - © Adam East 2012

"Monochrome" concept card - bleed front - Mitch Graham - © Adam East 2012 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dae-sung Koo (구대성) - 2010-11 Sydney Blue Sox

Dae-Sung Koo is a bit of a Korean baseballing legend. Having played 13 years in the KBO, 4 years in the NPB and played Major League with the New York Mets, he has longevity and experience. His decision to settle in Sydney and pitch for the Blue Sox was an added bonus for them. He has competed for them in both years of the ABL to date, winning the Reliver of the Year award for the inaugural ABL season, and providing a role for them as a solid closer.

2010-11 Sydney Blue Sox Dae-Sung Koo card front - © 2011 Adam East

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ian Choy - 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry

Canadian import Ian Choy was another of the crowd favorites on the inaugural 2010-11 Cavalry roster. The chant of "Aussie Aussie Aussie - Choy Choy Choy" was a staple at every Canberra home game. The Cavalry was Choy's first entrance into professional baseball immediately following his graduation from University, and it would also be his last. Despite his popularity Choy decided to return to Canada and pursue a non-sport related career. Hopefully it wasn't the Cavalry that put him off baseball :)

2010-11 Canberra Cavalry Ian Choy card front - © 2012 Adam East

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Josh Cakebread - 2011-12 Adelaide Bite

Besides being the Australian Shortstop on the Adelaide Bite's roster for the last two season, I reckon that Josh Cakebread's other claim to fame has to be having one of the most unusual surnames in the ABL. Add to that the fact that his post-ABL play in 2012 has been as one of the independent Pecos League's leading batters for the Roswell Invaders (yes, Roswell as in UFO crashes), then you certainly have an Aussie who probably has some stories to tell.

2011-12 Adelaide Bite Josh Cakebread card front - © 2012 Adam East

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chad Gabriel - 2010-11 Brisbane Bandits

Chad Gabriel was an American import from the independent American Association league who made it onto the inaugural playing roster for the Brisbane Bandits. Gabriel played a respectable 16 games, batting at .259. Again, whilst not an overly exciting photo, it was at least a capture of one of Brisbane's imports players at the time.

2010-11 Brisbane Bandits Chad Gabriel card front - © 2011 Adam East

Monday, June 18, 2012

Joshua Hendricks - 2010-11 Melbourne Aces

Melbourne Aces rookie Joshua Hendricks has managed 16 games across the first two seasons of the ABL. Hendricks signed as a 16YO with the Minnesota Twins, also having played 2 seasons of Rookie level ball in the US.

I only managed to capture a couple of photos of Aces players in 2010 and although was hardly the most exciting action shot, I still like quite liked this one of Hendricks.

2010-11 Melbourne Aces Joshua Hendricks card front - © 2010 Adam East

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yuhei Kai (甲斐雄平) - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

One of the Hanshin Tiger imports from Japan who made it onto the Canberra 2011-12 roster, outfielder Kai (甲斐雄平) played 19 games for the Cavalry. He is yet to debut in the NPB.

The Cavalry didn't have their new (predominantly white) home uniforms available for the first home series of the 2011-12 season. This meant that I pretty much didn't end up using my photos of the Canberra players from those games, as I wanted to feature the 2011-12 uniforms.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Yuhei Kai card front (away uniform top) -  © Adam East 2012 
2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Yuhei Kai card front -  © Adam East 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Aaron Bonomi - 2011-12 Perth Heat

Bonomi is a Perth local who has played 48 games primarily at Second Base for the Perth Heat over the first two ABL seasons. From what I've been able to find, apart from a stint with Winthrop University in the US, he has yet to play professional baseball outside of Australia.

2011-12 Perth Heat Aaron Bonomi card front - © 2012 Adam East

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ryan Beckman - 2011-12 Adelaide Bite

Another photo I like. Yes, the background is kind of cluttered, and yes, it's not an action photo - but it's a candid moment between players. Beckman was an American pitching import from the Pittsburgh Pirates who played for the Bite during the 2011-12 season. He was able to secure a place on the World Team in the 2011-12 ABL All Star Game. In 2012 he is currently playing at AA level.

2011-12 Adelaide Bite Ryan Beckman card front - © Adam East 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Brian Grening - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

The photo I used on this card had both it's pros and cons. The main pro being I love the fact that I was able to capture just as he was just about to release the ball mid-pitch. The con, the fact that his face is so distorted during pitching that you don't get a good feel for what the player really looks like. Still, I decided to go with this shot ratherthan a more mundane portrait.

Grening was an American import who played with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2011-12 season. In 2012 he is playing independent ball with fellow Cavalry team-mate Steve Kent.

 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Brian Grening card front © Adam East  2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Justin Huber - "Flashbacks" Concept Card

Quite enjoying making these "Flashbacks" concept cards, but they're a lot of work. Over the two ABL seasons, I have been unable to take very many photos of the Melbourne Aces players. Seeing as they have  the most number of Australian MLB players on their team, that's been a double blow. Because of this I cheated on this design and grabbed a player photo of Justin Huber from the web that I've modified for the card design.

I decided to use Flinders St Station as the background landmark for the Aces design. I'm hoping that it's evident that that's what the background building is.

"Flashbacks" concept card - Justin Huber 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Virgil Vasquez - 2011-12 Perth Heat

American pitcher Virgil Vasquez was a coup signing for Perth during the middle of the 2011-12 season. Vasquez is a former Major League player, having pitched 19 games between Detroit and Pittsburgh between 2007-2009. Tragedy struck him in 2010 when both his wrists were broken in a motor vehicle accident. Since then, he has been trying to re-establish himself in baseball. Being named the MVP of the 2012 ABL Championship Series certainly has done no harm to his quest. In 2012 he has returned to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the independent Atlantic League.

2011-12 Perth Heat Virgil Vasquez card front - © 2012 Adam East

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Aidan Francis - "Flashbacks" Concept Card

Thought I'd see how the "Flashbacks" concept card design worked in different colour schemes. This one is obviously for the Sydney Blue Sox. Aidan Francis just happened to be the first Blue Sox player picture I came across. The background is the Sydney Opera House. Kind of unsure as to whther it's too obscured by the player - can people tell what it is?

"Flashbacks" concept card - Sydney Blue Sox - Aidan Francis - © Adam East 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Trent Schmutter - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

A Sydney native, Trent has been on the Sydney Blue Sox roster for both seasons. He was named as the Australian Baseball League Rookie of the Year in the inaugural 2010-11 season, hitting .316 over 29 games. Unfortunately, his production suffered in his second year, dipping to .152 over 25 games.  

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Trent Schmutter card front © 2012 Adam East

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Steve Kent - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

One of the better known Australian players on the Canberra Cavalry roster over the last two seasons has been Canberran native Steve Kent. Having been released after 6 years with the Atlanta Braves, Kent signed to play for the Kansas City T-Bones in the independent Northern League for 2012, where he joins former Cavalry team-mate Brian Grening. Kent was a finalist in the Relief Pitcher of the Year Award for the 2011-12 season.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Steven Kent card front © Adam East  2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Official ABL Cards coming?

Saw something on Facebook that got me excited. The Australian Baseball League posted up the following image. It would be nice to see if they are going to make some Official cards. The only statement they had with it was "For the Alex Maestri fans".

Image posted by the ABL onto Facebook (Note: not one of my card designs or photos)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rinku Singh - 2011-12 Adelaide Bite

Singh was a rarity in the ABL - a player who actually transferred between teams, having played 2010-11 for the Canberra Cavalry, he ended up playing for the Adelaide Bite in 2011-12. He already had a level of fame before coming to Australia, with the tale of his winning a reality TV Show "The Million Dollar Arm", which was based around finding a potential baseball prospect amongst the people of India. Beating out over 37,000 prospects he won the show, and was taken to try out in the US, where he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is currently playing for the Pirates A class affiliate, the West Virginia Power, in the South Atlantic League.

Whilst not the best of photos, I couldn't help but put together a card for this son of a poor Indian Truck Driver, now a baseball prospect wearing his newly found bling (check out the gold chain around his neck) on the fields of Australian baseball.

2011-12 Adelaide Bite Rinku Singh © 2012 Adam East

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tyler Collins - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

Collins was an American rookie imported from the Detroit Tigers who played for the Blue Sox in 2011-12. He is currently playing for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the High A level Florida State League.

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Tyler Collins card front © Adam East 2012