Friday, September 28, 2012

Takumi Akiyama (秋 山 拓 巳) - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

Akiyama was another of the Cavalry's imports from the Hanshin Tigers in Japan for the 2011-12 season. He was the starting pitcher in 4 games for Canberra in limited playing time, due to the Japanese player's strict rules about returning to Japan by Christmas.

Akiyama has been called up by Hanshin for short stints during the last three NPB seasons, starting in 11 games between 2010-2012 for a 5-5 record.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Takumi Akiyama card front - © 2012  Adam East

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mitch Dening - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

Dening is originally from Gosford, NSW, and has been on the Blue Sox roster for both ABL seasons to date. He was signed to the Boston Red Sox organisation as a 17YO youngster where he played between 2007-2011, reaching AA level before being released during Spring Training earlier this year. He managed to pick up a short stint with the Washington WildThings in the independent Frontier League for part of the 2012 season.

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Mitch Dening card front - © 2012 Adam East

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hayden Beard - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

Beard is a homegrown Canberran pitcher who has played with the Cavalry during both ABL seasons. Has been playing with the San Diego Padres organisation for the last two American summers. In 2012 he was playing for the San Antonio Missions in the AA level Texas League.

I had two different photos for Hayden. Although one is an action shot in his windup, I thought the other shot had better lighting and clarity.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Hayden Beard card front - © 2012 Adam East

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Hayden Beard alternate card front - © 2012 Adam East 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Simon Morriss - 2011-12 Brisbane Bandits

Morriss is a local pitcher who has played both ABL seasons with the Brisbane Bandits. Took the role as pitching captain for the Bandits, and has been used in various roles, both starting, closing and in relief. Yet to have played in America despite his father being a scout for the Houston Astros.

2011-12 Brisbane Bandits Simon Morriss card front - © 2012 Adam East

Monday, September 24, 2012

John Tolisano - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

Tolisano was an American import from the Toronto Blue Jays organisation who played with the Cavalry during the start of the 2011-12 season. He quickly showed form that saw him being touted as potentially the best player in the ABL before a shoulder injury ended his season after only 6 games.  In 2012 played with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the AA level Eastern League.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry John Tolisano card front - © 2012 Adam East

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Official! 2012 ABL cards!

Exciting news on Facebook yesterday - official Australian Baseball League cards go on sale 01st October. They've been done by Select, who have historically done the AFL and NRL cards here in Australia, so they should be good quality. I've already got my pre-order in at the ABL Online Store.  [Insert big smile] ... and no, unfortunately, I had nothing to do with them, apart from buying one of each set.

Being issued as sets of 12 cards (one set for each team.) The 12 card breakdown for each team is:
10 player cards, a mascot card and a "fun" card. Each team set is priced at $AU9.99 Will do a breakdown of the players included for each set when they are released.

Flyer on Facebook advertising official Australian Baseball League cards!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Adam Courcha - 2011-12 Perth Heat

Perth native who played at the University of New Mexico between 2007-2010, as well as being a Student Assistant Coach in 2011. Joined the Perth Heat for the 2011-12 ABL season. During 2012 he coached the 2012 Western All-Stars at the 22nd Beijing International Boys and Youth Baseball Championships.

2011-12 Perth Heat Adam Courcha card front - © 2012 Adam East

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tylor Prudhomme - 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry

Canadian native who played 11 games for the Cavalry in the 2010-11 ABL season. In 2012 he made a brief appearance for the Abilene Prairie Dogs in the independent North American League.

2010-11 Canberra Cavalry Tylor Prudhomme card front - ©  2011 Adam East

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Joseph Hage - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

American youngster who played 3 years of Rookie ball for the St Louis Cardinals before being released in 2009 due to injury. Returned to action in 2011 playing for the Rockland Boulders in the Canadian American Association independant league. Joined the Sydney roster four rounds into the 2011-12 season to help bolster the struggling Blue Sox.

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Joseph Hage card front - © 2012 Adam East

Monday, September 17, 2012

Masashi Nohara (野原将志)- 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

Nohara was a Japanese import from the Hanshin Tigers who played with Canberra during the 2011-12 season. Made his NPB debut for Hanshin in August 2011, playing two games in his NPB rookie year. Nohara only played 8 games for the Cavalry before being recalled by Hanshin. He was impressive during his short ABL stint, earning an ABL Player of the Week award, hitting a .355 batting average, and being the league's RBI leader at the time of his recall.

Because of his early recall, I was only able to get a photo of him in the away uniform that the Cavalry were using at the start of the 2011-12 season, as their new home uniforms had yet to arrive. My shots of nearly all the other Cavalry players for 2011-12 feature the players in their predominantly white home uniform.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Masashi Nohara card front - © 2012 Adam East

Friday, September 14, 2012

John Veitch - 2011-12 Brisbane Bandits

Aussie veteran who, at the age of 16, made it onto the roster of the original Bandits in the first incarnation of the Australian Baseball League. Played 10 seasons of Claxton Shield before signing up to the Bandits in the reformed ABL. Has played both ABL seasons with the Bandits since then, pitching 30 games in relief.

I did make an error on the back of this card - for some reason I said that he had no previous ABL experience prior to 2011-12 .... Oops!

2011-12 Brisbane Bandits John Veitch card front - © 2012 Adam East

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adam Jacobs - 2011-12 Canberra Cavalry

Jacobs  was an American import for the Cavalry during the 2011-12 ABL season. Jacobs spent 5 years playing for Cornell University in America. His stint with the Cavalry lasted only 5 games however thanks to a collision with Aces player John Edwards that resulted in a broken collarbone, ending Jacobs season. He is currently playing for the Hawaii Stars in the independent North American League for the 2012 season.

2011-12 Canberra Cavalry Adam Jacobs card front - © 2012 Adam East

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alex Johnson - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

Johnson is a Sydney local who has played both ABL seasons with the Blue Sox. He came third in the Rookie of the Year voting in the 2011-12 season. Spent two years  in the US playing at Grayson County College.

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Alex Johnson card front - © 2012 Adam East

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chris Morgan - 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry

Canberra local who has spent both seasons on the Canberra Cavalry roster as a relief pitcher. Made the Australian School Boys All-Star team in 2001.

This card is another milestone one for me. After trialling the card design with the Andrew Schmidt promotional image, this card was done using my first lot of photos from the Cavalry's opening home series in the inaugural ABL season. I didn't have a telephoto lens then, so these were all close up captures. Chris was kind of enough to let me grab a photo of him between games of the double header.

2010-11 Canberra Cavalry Chris Morgan card front - © 2010 Adam East

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tim Kennelly - 2011-12 Perth Heat

Older brother of fellow Heat player Mathew and two younger brothers Sam and Josh who have all signed with Major League teams. Has spent eight years in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system.

Tim spent the first two seasons in the ABL with the Heat as a utility player in a variety of positions, winning the 2012 Helms Award as the MVP for the 2011-12 ABL season. In 2012 he was playing for the Reading Phillies in the AA level Eastern League, where he was also used several times as a relief pitcher when the bullpen ran dry. The Phillies liked what they saw and are in the process of converting Tim from a position player to a pitcher.

2011-12 Perth Heat Tim Kennelly card front - © 2012 Adam East

Friday, September 7, 2012

Andrew Schmidt - 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry

Andrew Schmidt was an American import who played with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2010-11 ABL season. He initially tried out for the Adelaide Bite, but was unsuccessful in picking up a roster position with them, but was signed by Canberra soon afterwards.

The Bleacher Report has a great interview with Andrew that explains a bit more of his background. It doesn't appear that he's been able to break into any established teams since his ABL stint.

I have a bit of a soft spot in that this Schmidt card was the very first attempt at an ABL card that I created that I was happy with. Because I hadn't yet taken any photos at any of the ABL games, I used a promotional photo taken by the Canberra Times of Schmidt. I've been trying to find a copy of the photo on their site and on the web to give the appropriate credit to the photographer on this post, but I haven't been able to find the picture online anywhere :(

2010-11 Canberra Cavalry Andrew Schmidt card front - photo originally from The Canberra Times

Quick site admin note: Because the majority of photos and subsequent cards I've designed are for Cavalry players, the ratio of Cavalry vs non-Cavalry player cards that I post up is going to skew far more towards the Cav players in the immediate future. I'm slowly running out of cards from the other teams ... that will change when the 2012-13 season starts up in less than 8 weeks time :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Todd Grattan - 2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox

Local Sydney boy who has been on the Blue Sox pitching roster for both ABL seasons. Prior to that Grattan was also a member of the New South Wales Patriots team for the four Claxton Shield seasons preceding the reformation of the ABL. Not bad for a player who was ostill only 24 at the start of his sixth season of Australian baseball.

2011-12 Sydney Blue Sox Todd Grattan - © 2012 Adam East

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kyle Perkins - 2010-11 Canberra Cavalry

Perkins has been a member of the Canberra Cavalry roster during both ABL seasons to date. In the inaugural season, he was a backup catcher, however he morphed into a relief pitcher for the 2011-12 season. Played one year of Rookie level ball for the Yankees in the Gulf Coast League in 2010.

2010-11 Canberra Cavalry Kyle Perkins card front - © 2011 Adam East

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jason Kilby - 2011-12 Brisbane Bandits

A member of Queensland's National Under-23 championship team for 2012, Kilby made his debut in the ABL in 2011-12, pitching in 2 games for the Bandits, including one start against the Cavalry.

2011-12 Brisbane Bandits Jason Kilby card front - © 2012 Adam East

Monday, September 3, 2012

Warwick Saupold - 2011-12 Perth Heat

Perth boy who pitched impressively for the Perth Heat during the first 2 seasons of the ABL. Was signed by the Detroit Tigers  on the back of his ABL performances, and is currently playing High A level ball for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Florida State League.

Normally I wouldn't consider using a back shot of a player, but, I used this one because: 1. I liked the side look onto his face, and 2. It was the only shot I had of him :)

2011-12 Perth Heat Warwick Saupold card front - © 2012 Adam East