Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ben Lodge - 2012-13 Adelaide Bite

Adelaide native Lodge made his ABL debut with the Adelaide Bite during the 2011-12 ABL season, playing two games. He returned to the Bite for the 2012-13 ABL season where he played 40 games and won the ABL's Rookie of the Year Award.

2012-13 Adelaide Bite Ben Lodge card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, April 29, 2013

Donald Lutz - "Flashbacks" Concept card

Former Canberra Cavalry alumni Donald Lutz is about to make his Major League Debut with the Cincinnati Reds. In honour of his call up to the show, I thought I'd post up a "Flashback" design of his playing days from the inaugural ABL season.

"Flashbacks" concept card - Donald Lutz - © Adam East 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Trade Lists

I still have enough card designs for the 2012-13 season for the blog to be updated each week day for several more months. Unfortunately, the start of the next ABL season is still almost 7 months away, so I do have some time for posts with non-card designs in them. I've decided that I'll start to include some other card related information in this blog, including cards of Australian sportsmen that I acquire through purchase or trade.

I have a fairly extensive collection of sports cards that, unsurprisingly feature Australian baseballers. For a number of years I used to run the Best of Both Worlds website. Best of Both Worlds featured checklists of cards for Australian players in the MLB, NBA, NFL and WNBA. Unfortunately, the lists became too big too maintain on a static site, and changes in work and life meant that I no longer had the time to put into the site or my personal collection, and the site is now defunct. (Well, technically a partially working copy of it still exists, but it has hardly been updated in over 8 years :)

I'm still interested in keeping my commercial card collection up to date, but rarely get the chance or money to do so. I figured however that I'd post my trade and want lists as pages on this blog in case anybody is interested in trading. Feel free to email me at oz mlb @ hotmail . com (without the spaces :)) if you'd be interested in discussing a trade.

Expect to see more posts about my card acquisitions scattered throughout the regular card design posts, and please fell free to check out my want lists and trade lists (when posted!).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Craig Anderson - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Gosford born Anderson returned for his third season with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2012-13 ABL season. His standout season produced a record 8 victories from 12 starts, earning him the 2012-13 ABL pitcher of the Year Award.

It's a terrible photo of him for the card, but the only one I had, having missed out on both of the games he pitched in Canberra during the season. In the end I figured that even a bad image of the Pitcher of the Year was better than no image of the pitcher of the year :)

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Craig Anderson card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Allan de San Miguel - 2012-13 Perth Heat

The ever impressive de San Miguel was a co-winner of the Australian Baseball League's Golden Glove Award for the 2012-13 ABL season along with Stefan Welch. In 2013 de San Miguel is expected to get a place on the Baltimore Orioles Short A season team.

2012-13 Perth Heat Allan de San Miguel card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Darryl George - 2012-13 Melbourne Aces

Nineteen year old George was a mainstay of the Melbourne Aces team during the 2012-13 ABL season, playing 41 games in only his second year. George is currently in extended Spring Training with the Tampa Bay Rays, potentially looking at an Advanced Rookie League placement for 2013.
2012-13 Melbourne Aces Darryl George card front © 2013 Adam East

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chris Morgan - 2012-13 Canberra Cavalry

Local boy Morgan returned for his third season with the Canberra Cavalry in 2012-13.

2012-13 Canberra Cavalry Chris Morgan card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, April 19, 2013

James Robbins - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

An American import from the Detroit Tigers organisation, Robbins played with the Sydney Blue Sox for the 2012-13 ABL season. In 2012, his fourth year in the minors, he played for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the high A level Florida State League. In 2013 he has started with the Eries Seawolves of the AA level Eastern league.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox James Robbins card front - © 2013 Adam East

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sam Kennelly - 2012-13 Perth Heat

I wonder if the Perth Heat would consider changing their name to the Perth Kennellys? Sam Kennelly signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation in mid 2012, and was subsequently signed by the Perth Heat to join his three older brothers on their roster for the 2012-13 ABL season. Despite only turning 17 years old midway through the season, Sam managed to get game time in 13 games throughout his rookie season.

2012-13 Perth Heat Sam Kennelly card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chuck Lofgren - 2012-13 Brisbane Bandits

Lofgren is an experienced American minor league player, having played for the Indians, Brewers, and Giants organisations between 2004 and 2011 before finally being released, despite playing at AAA level for all three organisations.. In 2012 he played independent ball for the Amarillo Sox of the American Association. Following his stint with Amarillo he was recruited to play for the Brisbane Bandits during the 2012-13 ABL season.

2012-13 Brisbane Bandits Chuck Lofgren card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wilson Lee - 2012-13 Adelaide Bite

Born in Darwin, Lee has played all three ABL seasons with the Adelaide Bite, although this is my first card design for him. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates organisation in 2010 and played two years of Rookie level ball with the GCL Pirates before being released approximately 3 weeks ago.

2012-13 Adelaide Bite Wilson Lee card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, April 15, 2013

Trent Schmutter - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Schmutter returned for his third ABL season with the Sydney Blue Sox in 2012-13. He had less playing time this season and has yet to recapture the form that won him the Rookie if the Year award in the inaugural ABL season.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Trent Schmutter card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, April 12, 2013

Greg Jelks - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Greg Jelks was one of the first American players with MLB experience to play in the original incarnation of the Australian Baseball League. He played 10 games for the Philadelphia Phillies back in 1987, before eventually coming across to the Perth Heat in 1993 and subsequent years.

Jelks liked Perth so much, he ended up staying and taking out dual citizenship. This resulted in him both playing for and managing the Australian National Team for a number of years, including at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Last year he returned to the Perth Heat as an Assistant Coach for the 2012-13 ABL season, following coaching stints with a number of US independent league teams.

As a teenager I got to see Jelks, one of the star players for the Heat at the time, play a number of games, so it was exciting for me as an adult to see him again, even if it was now as a coach.

2012-13 Perth Heat Greg Jelks card front - © 2013 Adam East

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elliot Biddle - 2012-13 Melbourne Aces

Geelong youngster Biddle spent a season playing rookie level ball as a pitcher with Minnesota back in 2008. He has since converted to playing mainly outfield, having played 94 games across the three ABL seasons with the Melbourne Aces, with just four pitching appearances as a closer in the same time. He has spent the last couple of Australian winters playing for the Dortmund Wanderers in the German Baseball-Bundesliga

Like many Melbourne players, this was the first year I was able to get a photo of Biddle, and hence my first card design for him. I liked the emotion in this photo.

2012-13 Melbourne Aces Elliot Biddle card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Australian Baseball League 2013-14 Schedule Review

The Australian Baseball League has released it's schedule for the 2013-14 season, so I've been studying it today to determine what that means for next season's cards.

Same Number of Games
Again it's a 46 game season, split across 6 home and 6 away series. Some home series will be 3 games, some will be 4 games. Nearly all games are scheduled Thursday through Sunday, with 4 Monday night games scheduled during the Christmas School Holidays. I generally only get to Friday or Saturday games, so doesn't effect me a whole lot.

Less Doubleheaders
From my point of view, as an amateur photographer, I love Saturday double headers. My camera kit isn't good enough to capture decent shots once games go under lights, so I rely on getting shots during warm ups and during the first couple of innings of night games. This often means that I miss out on action shots of the pitching staff, with most of the bullpen coming on too late during night games. In contrast, double headers give me the opportunity to get far more usable shots, especially of pitchers.

Historically, almost every series contained a Saturday double header during the first two ABL seasons, however that was cut back during the 2012-13 ABL season, with only 3 doubleheaders played locally. Next season, there will only be two doubleheaders played here.  That means less action shots, and less shots of pitchers. :(

Playing the Heat Twice at Home
The ABL is a 6 team competition  Each ABL team play 6 home series, one home series against 4 of the other 5 teams and two home series against the remaining team. The first two ABL seasons featured 10 series of 5 home and away series, however the ABL acknowledged feedback from the teams that they didn't have the pitching depth to maintain regular 4 and 5 game series. Subsequently in 2012-13, they increased the number of series, but reduced the number of games per series. The increase in series means that there's the luck of the draw as to who you play twice. Last season the Cavalry played Sydney twice at home. In the 2013-14 season it will be the Perth Heat. That's effectively a tough draw for the Cavalry, noting that out of the three total ABL seasons to date, Perth have come 1st, 1st and 2nd.

From a card point of view, it means that I'll likely get more shots of Perth players. Given that most teams only bring 20-22 of their roster to Canberra for each series, multiple series means potentially a greater player spread for photos. Besides the Cavalry who are the team in the city I live in, the two teams I got the most different number of player photos of last season were the Perth Heat and the Sydney Blue Sox. Why? Because Canberra played two home series against Sydney, and played two series in Canberra (one home series and the Championship series) against Perth.

Not a bad schedule, but the lack of doubleheaders is the real killer for me. Maybe I can sweet talk the GM to getting me a Media Pass to try and get closer to the action with the limited shooting time I'll have. :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tyler Herr - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Herr is a 6'8" tall American import from the Minnesota Twins organisation who played with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2012-13 ABL season. He has spent the last three years playing at Rookie level, spending 2012 with the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox Tyler Herr card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brenden Webb - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Baltimore Orioles prospect Webb returned during the 2012-13 ABL season for a second stint with Perth as an American import, also having played for them last ABL season. He finished the American 2012 baseball season playing for the Frederick Keys of the high A level Carolina League. His 2012-13 was more of a cameo - appearing for 18 games during the latter half of the season.

Similar to Heat team mate Aaron Bonomi, I had a number of photos of Webb, but none seemed to work, again settling on a close-up.

2012-13 Perth Heat Brenden Webb card front - © 2013 Adam East

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hard Drive Failures Suck

It's been an interesting week - I've been sick with a rather nasty virus since just before Easter, and have been battling a chest infection, sinus infection, middle ear infection, and a bunch of other wonderful cold & flu like symptoms.

To top the week off, one of the two hard drives in my PC died yesterday. It wasn't a surprise in that it had been giving me errors for a week, but still not fun. The fact that it was a second hand drive I'd acquired only 2 months ago when the original hard drive in the PC failed, means that I've got to go through the process of rebuilding my PC once again.

Fortunately I had backed up all my personal data on Monday, so have only lost about 5 days worth of data. Of course, the fact that I was sick during those 5 days means that the personal data I'd created during those 5 days were baseball card designs, and checklists of my personal card collection. :(

Fortunately, the card designs I'd made I'd already uploaded and scheduled onto the blog for the next week, so I at least have some low resolution versions captured ... just not good enough quality for when i get around to getting them printed up.

Add to that I still have some PC access via laptop, and the "kids" computer, I'm at least not going completely offline.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Eric Massingham - 2012-13 Canberra Cavalry

Massingham is an American who was drafted by the Phillies and spent two years playing in their farm system before being released during Spring Training 2011. Since then he has played with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League, as well as picking up some short pitching appearances in other independent leagues. He joined the Canberra Cavalry as an American import for the 2012-13 ABL season.
2012-13 Canberra Cavalry Eric Massingham card front - © 2013 Adam East

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Seon-Gi Kim (선 기 김) - 2012-13 Adelaide Bite

A member of the Seattle Mariners organisation hailing from South Korea, Kim had previously spent three years in the minors, spending 2012 with the Clinton Lumberkings of the A level MidWest League. Was reportedly the initial target of the Mariners scouts who also signed fellow countryman Ji-Man Choi at the same time. Both Kim and Choi have apparently been teammates on the same teams during most of their Western careers . This included both of them playing as imports for the Adelaide Bite during the 2012-13 ABL season.

2012-13 Adelaide Bite Seon-Gi Kim card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Jacob Younis - 2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox

Debuting for the Sydney Blue Sox as a 17 year old in the ABL's first season, Younis has played all three ABL seasons to date with Sydney. Younis played two seasons of Rookie level ball with the Twins before being released in late 2012.

This is the first season I was able to capture a photo of him, so his first ever card design from me. Always wondered if his nickname among fellow Aussies is Waqar after the famous cricket player.

2012-13 Sydney Blue Sox  Jacob Younis card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Michael Ohlman - 2012-13 Perth Heat

Ohlman, an American import from the Orioles organisation came to Perth for the 2012-13 ABL season with an interesting history. He had been playing in the Orioles system since 2009, reaching low A level before receiving a shoulder injury from a car accident during 2012 Spring Training. He was later found guilty of testing positive for a "drug of abuse", resulting in a 50 game suspension, causing him to miss additional time. He resumed back with a short stint at Rookie level and then the low A level Delmarva Shorebirds later in the year. Presumably the Orioles wanted to give him the chance to gain some additional game time from that missed by the events of earlier in the year, and sent him Down Under to the Heat for the Australian summer.

2012-13 Perth Heat Michael Ohlman card front - © 2013 Adam East

Monday, April 1, 2013

Andrew Mann - 2012-13 Melbourne Aces

Local Victorian player Mann debuted for the Aces in the 2011-12 ABL season, earning himself the teams 'Rookie of the year" Award, after shouldering a large proportion of their pitching duties. He returned for the Aces in the 2012-13 ABL season.

2012-13 Melbourne Aces Andrew Mann card front - © 2013 Adam East