Results tagged ‘ Australia ’

Wrapping up the Winter Leagues – Australia

Time to look back at Timber Rattlers Alumni in the Winter Leagues.  Today, a quick peek at the Australian Baseball League.

The ABL ended last week with Perth winning the championship.  Video of the Claxton Shield presentation here.

Regular Season:
Melbourne Aces (15-31):
Kyle Heckathorn (’10): 3 games, 0-2, 8.10ERA, 3.1IP, 4BB, 3K

Perth Heat (28-20):
Chad Robinson (’10): 15 games, 2-3, 2 saves, 2.11ERA, 21.1IP, 10BB, 26K

Sydney Blue Sox (22-24):
Craig Anderson (’00): 12 games, 12 starts, 5-6, 3.59ERA, 3CG, 2SHO, 77.2IP, 14BB, 60K

Chad Robinson: 2 games, 0-0, 0.00ERA, IP, 3BB, K

Chad Robinson in 2010.

Chad Robinson in 2010.

Craig Anderson: 1 game, 1 start, 6.0IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, No decision

Alumni Birthdays for February 16:
Justin Dunning (’99) – 38
Geovany Miranda (’91) – 45
Ron Scruggs (’86) – 52
Jerry Hairston (’71) – 63

They spelled Miranda’s first name wrong…twice!

Australian Cheering Guide – November 6, 2014

When it comes to the Australian Baseball League, Timber Rattlers fans have had a cheering interest in the Sydney Blue Sox, due to former Rattler Craig Anderson (’00) being a mainstay in their rotation for a long time.

In the Claxton Shield Era of the ABL, the Perth Heat had former Timber Rattler Dan Floyd (’01, ’02).  Floyd had the final hit of the Claxton Shield Era and it was a big one.

The Heat won back-to-back Claxton Shield titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, it won the Southern Division with an 8–4 record and swept New South Wales in the best-of-three semi final series in Sydney. In 2009, the Heat finished the regular season with the best record, at 12–4, and came back from losing the first game to beat New South Wales in three games in the Grand Final. The WA side led the deciding third game throughout but blew a 2–0 lead in the top of the ninth inning. With the game set for extra innings, outfielder Daniel Floyd hit a walk-off single to deliver back-to-back titles for Perth.

Jamie McOwen (’07) played for the Adelaide Bite in 2010-11 and he was The Helms Award Winner (Most Valued Player) that season as he helped the Bite to reach the Finals before falling in the Finals to Perth.

Another alum of the Timber Rattlers is joining the ABL this year and he will be with the Melbourne Aces:

Heckathorn Melbourne

Photos from the Melbourne Aces Facebook Page:

Heckathorn Melbourne2
That’s Kyle Heckathorn (’10) wearing #45.  Melbourne’s season begins at 7:35pm on Friday in Australia.  That would be…at…2:35am in the Central Time Zone…if I am doing my math right.

Alumni Birthdays for November 6:
Stephen Peterson (’12) – 27
Ricky Orta (’07) – 30
Jorge Candelaria (’86) – 47
Leo Garcia (’81, ’82) – 52
Harold McClain (’71, ’72) – 62
Rudy Okleson (’42) – Would have been 93


Stephen Peterson

Rowland-Smith & Snelling for Australia

Big League Stew had a post over the weekend about the Australian team for the World Baseball Classic.

It was titled: Getting to know your World Baseball Classic Squads: Australia

Kevin Kaduk gets to names that Timber Rattlers fans should know well.



Biggest star(s): Though he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010, Ryan Rowland-Smith is a familiar name to many baseball fans. Infielder Luke Hughes has also played for a couple of big league teams, most recently Oakland.

Name you may not know, but should: Remember Chris Snelling? Once a decently-rated prospect in the early 2000s, the outfielder experienced a string of injuries and only played 93 big league games. Now 31, Snelling will try and help the Aussies grab some WBC glory.

RRS struggled with the Rattlers in 2002 and was sent down to Everett.  RRS pitched great in 2003 and was sent up to the California League before the All-Star Break.

Snelling is 31 now? *sigh*

He had a great season in 2000, but he was injured for a lot of it.  I want him to stay healthy and play well in the WBC.  Then, I want to see someone sign him to get another shot.

Later in the post Kaduk explains why Travis Blackley is not pitching for Australia this year.

I bring up Blackley because he is one of those guys who probably SHOULD have been a member of the Timber Rattlers in 2002.  He was 19 and had only pitched in Everett (Northwest League).  The Mariners sent him to San Bernadino to start that season where he had a walk to strikeout ratio of 44:152 in 121-1/3 innings.  Sure would have been nice to have to have Blackley in Appleton for at least the first half of that ’02 season.

I’m not bitter.

Alumni in Australia

The Australian Baseball League played their All-Star Game in Sydney on December 21.  A couple of former Timber Rattlers contributed to the World All-Stars 8-5 win over Team Australia.

James McOwen rounds third base as a Timber Rattler in 2007. Photo Credit: Wm. Glasheen

Denny Almonte swings away as a Timber Rattler in 2008. Photo credit: WM. Glasheen

McOwen had a 3-for-4 day with a double, a couple of runs scored, and a walk. Almonte was 1-for-4 with a walk, a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored.

Here’s the boxscore of the game.

I found a few Australian links with video, but those videos cannot be viewed in the US.  So…from here is a current photo of James McOwen with a quote.

“It was a pretty evenly-matched game but they slipped up a little bit and we held on strong and were able to get those last three outs,” he said.

James McOwen swings away in the ABL All-Star Game. Picture: Theo Fakos Source: PerthNow

Finals from Australia

Perth forced a decisive third game in the Championship Series in Australia against Adelaide – former Rattler Jamie McOwen is with Adelaide – with a win on February 12.

Perth 9
Adelaide 2

Jamie McOwen (’07): 0-for-4, RBI

Then, Perth won the game on February 13 to win the Championship series.

Adelaide 1
Perth 7

McOwen: 1-for-4

McOwen ended the season with a .340/.412/.613 line.  He also collected 11 homers and 30 RBI in 37 games.

Now he will have a few weeks to relax and then, it’s time to see where he goes in the Seattle organization.

Winter League updates

The Caribbean Series starts on Wednesday. has a preview of the six-day event that is being held Puerto Rico this year.

It looks like Martin Maldonado (’09) of Dominican League champion Toro del Este is the only former Rattler active in the event this year.  That may change once the games start.

I did notice that Wisconsin native Jason Jaramillo is a teammate of Maldonado.

Down in Australia, the second round of the playoffs start on Friday…or Thursday, however that whole dateline thing works.

I am still trying to figure out their playoff system.

The first round series were #1 v. #2 and #3 v. #4.  The loser of 3 v. 4 was out, but the loser of 1 v. 2 moved into a semifinal series v. the winner of 3 v. 4.

If I read that correctly, Sydney, with former Rattlers pitcher Craig Anderson, and Adelaide, with former Rattlers outfielder Jamie McOwen (’07) are scheduled to face each other this weekend while Sydney is through to the Championship Series.

It’s also summer down there!


Dave Nilsson in Brisbane

David Nilsson was a catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.  Now, he is managing his hometown team of Brisbane in his home country of Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has the story..although the story seems more focused on why Nilsson isn’t playing for the Bandits instead of on how he is as a manager.

AUSTRALIA’S greatest baseballer, David Nilsson, might have played in
the resurrected local professional competition if he had been asked.

Brisbane-born Nilsson played catcher for the Milwaukee
Brewers from 1992 until 1999, and became the first Australian selected
for the Major League Baseball All-Stars.

He is now 40, and hasn’t played high-level baseball since representing Australia at the World Baseball Classic in 2006.

Nilsson is instead managing the Brisbane Bandits, who
lost to the Sydney Blue Sox yesterday in a rain-shortened game at
Blacktown Olympic Park.

The new Australian Baseball League is largely funded by
America’s rich MLB competition, and when it was launched last month, ABL
chairman Mark Peters said of Nilsson: ”We’d love for him to strip off
and play, but, as he says, he’s probably not quite in that shape at the

Nilsson told the Herald: ”If they were serious
they would have approached me [but] they never approached me. I think
it’s just good banter. If they were serious about it they would have
approached me 12 months ago and given me an opportunity to [get into
shape] but they weren’t serious.”

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.

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