Another winter league to follow

Australian Baseball League is new and ready to go!

The new Australian Baseball League, a landmark initiative of Major League Baseball (MLB), the Australian Baseball Federation (ABF) and the Australian Sports Commission was officially launched today ahead of the Season Opener on November 6.

The six new ABL teams Adelaide Bite, Brisbane Bandits, Canberra Cavalry, Melbourne Aces, Perth Heat, and Sydney Blue Sox, introduced their 35-man playing roster and unveiled their uniforms for the first time.

The Australian Baseball League will feature Australia’s best homegrown talent, including professionals plying their trade in the major and minor leagues of North America and Asia, and a number of high profile imports.

Australian players have long been competing at the highest professional and amateur levels around the world but a lack of domestic competition prevented them from being able to showcase their skills in front of a home crowd.

The ABL season, in which each team will play 40 games, will run throughout the southern summer, from November to January. The season complements the northern hemisphere baseball season, which begins in March.

Why, yes there are some former Timber Rattlers participating in the league.

Craig Anderson (’00) is playing for the Sydney Blue Sox.

James McOwen is with the Adelaide Bite.

The Adelaide Bite mascot is this:

BiteMascot.jpgGo and help name him at their facebook page.

Also, former Milwaukee Brewers catcher Dave Nilson is the manager of the Brisbane Bandits.


Having a league in Australia is an intriguing prospect and would likely have some appeal to players seeking a place to play winter ball, but I’m going to go ahead and predict travel costs will be the end of it if they intend to keep a team in Perth, which is literally across a continent from the five other cities.

Looking at the schedule, I don’t think that travel is going to be too big of a deal. It looks like almost like a college schedule with most of Perth’s games are on the weekends. This appears to be a carryover from the Claxton Shield from the last few seasons.

A few other carryovers for Perth is that they have been one of the most successful on field teams from the Claxton Shield era and they appear to have plenty of corporate support. (IE They were known as the Barbagallo Perth HEAT since their sponsor was a luxury car dealership. Barbagallo appears to have taken over the naming rights to the Heat’s ballpark)

The biggest problem for Perth is that their main sponsor appears to be something called: Alcohol Think Again.

The next biggest problem is how to get down to Australia for an in person fact finding mission on the new Australian Baseball League.

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