Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ryan Searle - 2015-16 Brisbane Bandits

Searle had his sixth season with the Brisbane Bandits during the 2015-16 ABL season. He made the move from Starting Pitcher to the bullpen with amazing success, posting a 5-2 win-loss record and an 0.40 ERA over 31 games.

2015-16 Brisbane Bandits Ryan Searle card front - ©2016 Adam East

Monday, November 28, 2016

John Schultz - 2015-15 Adelaide Bite

Schultz is an American import who played with the Adelaide Bite during the 2015-16 ABL season. Schultz had spent two years in the Miami Marlins organisation (2011 and 2012) before being released and spending the following years playing independent ball. In 2012 and 2016 Schultz played with the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League.

2015-16 Adelaide Bite John Schultz card front - ©2016 Adam East

Friday, November 25, 2016

Calvin Drummond - 2015-16 Sydney Blue Sox

Drummond was an American import from the Detroit Tigers organisation who played with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2015-16 ABL season. In both 2015 and 2016 he split time between the Lakeland Flying Tigers and the Erie Seawolves, the Tigers' Advanced A and Double A affiliates respectively.

2015-16 Syndey Blue Sox Calvin Drummond card front - ©2016 Adam East

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tom Bailey - 2015-16 Perth Heat

Bailey is a local West Aussie who had his second year with the Perth Heat during the 2015-16 ABL season. Bailey had experience playing college ball in the USA with Dakota State University and Wayland Baptist University before being signed with the Heat.

2015-16 Perth Heat Tom Bailey card front- ©2016 Adam East

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bandits School of Baseball Uses My Images

Always interesting to see where my card images pop up. I discovered recently that the Queensland School of Baseball has been using a number of my images on their site.

All up they use five of my card images - four from my 2014-15 card design - Ryan Battaglia, Mitch Nilsson, Sam Holland and Maxx Tissenbaum, and one - Logan Wade from my 2012-13 card designs.

That now means that every single club except Melbourne have used at least one of my image so far. If only I was getting paid for them 😊

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mike Hill - 2015-16 Melbourne Aces

Hill was an American import from the Kansas City Royals who played with the Melbourne Aces during the 2015-16 ABL season. In 2015 he played with the Lexington Legends in the Single A level South Atlantic League, also returning to them in 2016, along with shorter stints at the Advanced A level Wilmington Blue Rocks.
2015-16 Melbourne Aces Mike Hill card front - ©2016 Adam East

Friday, November 18, 2016

Michael Click - 2015-16 Canberra Cavalry

Click is an American import who played with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2015-16 ABL season. Click came over with five years experience playing independent ball, in 2015 playing with the Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League.

2015-16 Canberra Cavalry Michael Click card front - ©2016 Adam East

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Play Ball - Start of the 2016-17 ABL Season

Tonight is the start of the 2016-17 Australian Baseball League season, however I have struggled to get excited for this season. I've put this down to several reasons:

1. Real World Priorities: I've been struggling to finish off my card set of the 2015-16 ABL season. Due to a combination of competing real life priorities, health issues, etc, I only finished doing the front of last season's cards yesterday. Doing the backs is usually the larger time consuming part, so there's still a lot of work to be done to have them print ready. Normally I have the designs done and started printing before the start of the next season. It'll still be a long time before I have my 2015-16 ABL set in hand, and the 2015-16 designs will still be appearing on this blog for a while. I haven't even contemplated a design for the 2016-17 cards yet.

2. The Loss of MLB Backing: Major League Baseball has been helping to fund the revamped Australian Baseball League during its first six seasons. Well, that funding source was cut off during 2016, with the expectation that the ABL now needs to stand financially on its own 2 feet. The problem is, the ABL is still struggling in the key markets of Sydney and Melbourne. To be able to be self-funding, those 2 markets need to take off, and take off big, as they cover over 2/3rds of the Australian audience. The continuing non-success of these 2 teams means that they struggle to gain media support and their lack of penetration must be a financial thorn in the side of the self funding ABL model. This has resulted in the contraction of the ABL season from 56 games back to 40 games in 2016-17, and notable commentary already from teams that money is tight.

3. Missing 2016-17 Photo Opportunities: For the last 6 years I've been making my personal ABL cards, with only the initial 2010-11 season (when I was only trying out the idea for cards), being when I didn't have photo coverage of every team. A family holiday this year, combined with the contracted season length means that I won't get to photograph every ABL team this season. I'll be missing out on shooting Perth, the ABL team I support. That's disappointing and the OCD in me is frustrated at the idea of starting a set that only contains five of the six ABL teams, and of missing my favourite team.

The first games won't be played locally until next week. I still then have to come up with a 2016-17 card design, so it will still probably be a while until my 2016-17 card images start appearing here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mitch Nilsson - 2015-16 Brisbane Bandits

Nilsson returned for his sixth and arguably best ABL season with the Brisbane Bandits, nearly equalling the number of games in 2015-16 as he'd played across the previous 5 seasons.

2015-16 Brisbane Bandits Mitch Nilsson card front - ©2016 Adam East

2015-16 Brisbane Bandits Mitch Nilsson alternate card front - ©2016 Adam Eas

Monday, November 14, 2016

Chris Adamson - 2015-16 Adelaide Bite

After four years previous experience playing in the ABL with the Bite, Adamson started out the 2015-16 ABL season on the Adelaide Bite coaching staff. I'm not sure if staying on there was part of the plan, but by the back end of the season, Adamson had pulled the Bite uniform back on again in a playing capacity.
2015-16 Adelaide Bite Chris Adamson card front - ©2016 Adam East

2015-16 Adelaide Bite Chris Adamson alternate card front - ©2016 Adam East

Friday, November 11, 2016

Jake Webster - 2015-16 Sydney Blue Sox

Webster is a local Sydney boy who made his ABL debut with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2015-16 ABL season, playing two games during the season. He played college ball for the Bethany College Swedes between 2010 and 2012, but has played primarily in the NSW club level competition since then.

2015-16 Sydney Blue Sox Jake Webster card front - ©2016 Adam East

Friday, November 4, 2016

Cameron Lamb - 2015-16 Perth Heat

Lamb was another of the returning Perth Heat regulars, with the 2015-16 ABL season being his sixth with the club and ABL. What is he doing in this photo? I couldn't work out whether he was trying to hide his mustache or make his lip bigger .... either way, not your average baseball photo :)

2015-16 Perth Heat Cameron Lamb card front - ©2016 Adam East

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Yasuo Sano (佐野 泰雄) - 2015-16 Melbourne Aces

Sano is a Thai-born, Japanese-rasied import from the Seibu Lions who played with the Melbourne Aces during the 2015-16 ABL season. Sano made his NPB for the Lions in 2015, before returning to the Lions NPB line-up in 2016.

2015-16 Melbourne Aces Yasuo Sano card front - ©2016 Adam East

2015-16 Melbourne Aces Yasuo Sano alternate card front - ©2016 Adam East