Friday, May 30, 2014

Jacob Younis - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

Unfortunately for Younis, he's about the only Sydney player I didn't get a photo of in the powder blue shirted uniform. (I've published some Sydney players in the gray away uniforms previously, but will do redux versions of their cards in the blue tops.) I much prefer the colored tops compared to the gray away uniforms.

2013-14 was Younis' fourth ABL season with the Sydney Blue Sox.

2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Jacob Younis card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sam Kennelly - 2013-14 Perth Heat

The youngest of the Kennelly brothers, Sam spent 2013 playing baseball in a variety of situations following his 2012 signing by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Besides playing for his high school and local club teams, he also played for Australia in the Under 18 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan, as well as playing in the MLB Academy Australia and heading over for the Fall Instructional League in the USA..

For the 2013-14 ABL season he joined his three brothers on the Perth Heat roster. He played 25 games during the season but had poor offensive production at the plated, batting at .104.

I couldn't decide on the final image for Sam, so here are the two contenders

2013-14 Perth Heat Sam Kennelly card front - © 2014 Adam East

2013-14 Perth Heat Sam Kennelly alternate card front - © 2014 Adam East

Monday, May 26, 2014

Casey Beck - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

Beck is an American import who played with the Canberra Cavalry during the 2013-14 ABL season. He spent seven years in the minors (2006 - 2012) between the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays. Beck wasn't actually released by the Blue Jays until Oct 2013, but hadn't pitched in 2013. I'm unsure of the cause - whether it was injury related, or just because he wasn't used. Either way, he headed down to Australia and joined the Cavalry as his first stop after leaving affiliated baseball.

2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Casey Beck card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, May 23, 2014

Keon Broxton - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

Broxton was an American import from the Arizona Diamondbacks organisation who played with the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2013-14 ABL season.He was twice named by Baseball America as the best athlete in the Diamondbacks farm system.  In 2013 he played for the Mobile BayBears in the AA level Southern League.

He obviously made a good impression with the Blue Sox as the Pittsburgh Pirates made a trade for Broxton in late March this year, and he is playing for the Altoona Curve in the AA level Eastern League for the Pirates in 2014.

2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Keon Broxton card front - © 2014 Adam East

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Luke Hughes - 2013-14 Perth Heat

Things kind of fell apart for former Aussie MLB player Hughes following the last ABL season. He failed to get picked up any of the MLB organisations during 2013 spring training, and there was talk of him heading over the Subiaco Lions in the WAFL to try his hand at Australian Rules Football. The Heat even started a bit of a "Hughes Knows" campaign emulating the Nike Bo Knows campaign from the late 80s / early 90s, however the campaign and the football career seem to have faded out of the media fairly quickly.

On top of all that, during his time with the Perth Heat during the 2013-14 ABL season, Hughes had to walk out to the sound of "Born in the USA" blaring from the ground PA when he came out to bat  in Canberra following his "Team USA' criticisms of the Canberra Cavalry after the 2012-13 season.

2013-14 Perth Heat Luke Hughes card front - © 2014 Adam East 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Aaron Sayers - 2013-14 Melbourne Aces

Following his ABL rookie season with Melbourne in 2012-13, Sayers headed over to the USA in 2013  where he finally made his minor league debut with the Tigers' Gulf Coast League rookie team. He returned back to the Melbourne Aces for the 2013-14 ABL season.

2013-14 Melbourne Aces Aaron Sayers card front - © 2014 Adam East

Friday, May 16, 2014

Caleb Albrecht - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

Albrecht is a local Canberran player who made it onto the roster for the Canberra Cavalry in the 2013-14 ABL season, but who is yet make his ABL debut. He had previously been selected to attend the MLB Australian Academy, as well as playing for the Iowa Central Community College in 2013.

2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Caleb Albrecht card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Craig Goodman - 2013-14 Brisbane Bandits

Goodman - the man of the questionable nationality. The ABL website lists him as born in Australia, but with no details of where. The 2013-14 ABL season was his first in the ABL, playing with the Brisbane Bandits. Searching online, he is listed as playing for the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League in 2013. Prior to that, things get messy. In 2011 and 2012 he's listed as playing for Tusculum College in Tennessee. Noting that it appears that it is the same player, then the earlier bios list him as being born in Clearweater, FL in the USA. I'm going to make the call that the ABL has it wrong listing him as an Aussie... and that he is American.

Just as I'm writing this, I realised I have another information source at hand. The official 2013-14 ABL card made for him by Dingo shows him as being born in Florida, so, I think we can definitely say that the ABL site appears wrong on his nationality. He is an American, not an Aussie.

And yes, he is pictured here with a helmet on even though he's a pitcher. This shot is of him acting as first base coach for the Bandits on the day in question.

2013-14 Brisbane Bandits Craig Goodman card front - © 2013 Adam East

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Slowing Things Down A Little

I have more weekdays left before the start of next season than I have card images to post. The upshot of this is I'm going to slow down the blog updates to about 3 times per week - down from the currently typical 5 posts per week. I'll generally be aiming for updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

As the 2014-15 ABL season gets closer I'll experiment with designs for next season's cards, and get ready to take more photos.

Canberra Cavalry vs Sydney Blue Sox - 31st Jan 2014 - © 2014 Adam East

Monday, May 12, 2014

Wayne Lundgren - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

I was happy that the first game of last season's ABL playoffs between Sydney and Canberra was played in Canberra, as it allowed me to get some pickup photos of some of the Blue Sox players. One such player was pitcher Wayne Lundgren. The 2013-14 ABL season was his fourth season in the ABL and with the Sydney Blue Sox.

2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Wayne Lundgren card front - © 2014 Adam East

Friday, May 9, 2014

Greg Jelks - 2013-14 Perth Heat

Former MLB player and ABL alumni Greg Jelks returned as the Hitting Coach for the Perth Heat in the 2013-14 ABL season.

Whilst I usually don't make a big effort to capture images of the coaches, the Perth coaches are a different matter. As players from when I first started watching baseball 20 years ago, I'll always have a soft spot for them.

2013-14 Perth Heat Greg Jelks card front - © 2013 Adam East

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wilson Lee - 2013-14 Adelaide Bite

Lee was unfortunately released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 2012-13 ABL season, so did not play in the minors in 2013. It didn't seem to harm him though as he returned for his most successful ABL season in 2013-14, returning to the Adelaide Bite for his fourth straight year.

2013-14 Adeliade Bite Wilson Lee card front - © 2014 Adam East

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Guy Edmonds - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

I will flat out admit it, I don't like Edmonds. Most ABL players seem reasonably friendly, and there are very few reasons to dislike them. However, the several times I've seen him play, he's come across as somebody who appears to have anger management issues, and to put it bluntly, has acted as a "bit of a jerk" on the field (mouthing off to other players, smashing and hitting things, etc)  Having said that, I may have just been unlucky and seen him playing on a couple of bad days - hopefully he's a really nice guy (pun not really intended) normally.

Still, he deserves a card as an ABL player. Edmonds is a Sydney born player who made his ABL debut in 2013-14 with the Sydney Blue Sox, having rebuffed the Blue Sox's attempts to sign him the previous two ABL seasons. He spent three seasons playing in the minors for the Texas Rangers between 2010 and 2012, reaching the low A level Spokane Indians in 2012.

2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Guy Edmonds card front - © 2014 Adam East

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sean Toler - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

The fan cry of "Toler Time" was renewed in the 2013-14 ABL season as American import Toler returned as the closer for the Canberra Cavalry in his second ABL season. In 2013, Toler had returned to the Kansas City T-Bones in the independent American Association along with fellow Canberra Alumni Dustin Loggins, Ethan Cole and Kody Hightower.

As the team's closer, he was usually at action in the late evenings, so it was difficult to get any decent action photos of Toler. I had to resort to using a shot of him  during post game celebrations on the first game of a double header.

2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Sean Toler card front - © 2013 Adam East

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dae-Sung Koo (구대성) - 2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox

Despite his age, 44 year old Koo is still an important member of the Sydney Blue Sox ABL team. With the off-season move of Matt Williams from the Blue Sox to the Bite, Koo returned to the Closer position in 2013-14 which Williams had taken over in 2012-13, but which Koo had held in the previous two ABL seasons.

Koo's transition from Korean baseballing legend to adopted Aussie seems almost complete, noting that as well as living permanently in suburbia in Sydney, Koo played as a member the Australian national team that competed against the Arizona Diamondbacks and LA Dodgers at the SCG that preceded the MLB 2014 Opening Series.

2013-14 Sydney Blue Sox Dae-Sung Koo card front - © 2014 Adam East

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Kyle Perkins - 2013-14 Canberra Cavalry

The older of the Perkins brothers had mentioned that he'd like to have a card that features him batting as he doesn't have any of those. Unfortunately for him, Dingo's card of him was of him fielding. Looking at my design for him, I had one of him base running, so his wish of a card of him batting remains unfulfilled. Despite his recent transition from being a catcher to pitching several seasons ago, the 2013-14 ABL season saw him playing more in the field for the Canberra Cavalry, playing 23 games for the season despite only pitching in five. I'll need to go back through my photos of last season and see if I do have any of him batting and do a redux card of him at the plate.

And yes, I'm back from holidays, and still alive :)

2013-14 Canberra Cavalry Kyle Perkins card front - © 2013 Adam East