Australia has produced plenty of baseball talent. But why has most of it been on the mound?
As the Dodgers and Diamondbacks embark on their mission to go Fightin’ Around the World and bring baseball to a new frontier in Australia, the challenge they face isn’t as enormous as the setting of their showdown—a cricket ground—would lead you to believe.
No, baseball doesn’t rank highly in the hierarchy of sports on the smallest continent. Cricket laps it in popularity among bat sports. There’s also soccer, which they have generally called “soccer,” and their own kind of football.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Baseball players are coming to the U.S. from Australia in increasing numbers, but much more talent remains untapped.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Drew Samuelson is the Player & Coach Development Coordinator for the Australian Baseball Federation and has worked in baseball since 2007. A native Seattleite, Drew spent two seasons as the Director of Baseball Operations at Seattle University as it resurrected its Division I baseball program after a 30-year absence. He also worked for the Tacoma Rainiers in 2009 as their Media Development Coordinator. Drew spent two seasons managing his own website, pacificprospectreport.com, which produced proprietary video and scouting reports of prospects in the Arizona Fall, California, Pacific Coast, and Northwest leagues. He is an alumnus of Marist College (NY) and Seattle University. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ABF.
Former Red Sox prospect Tim Cox talks about his decision to return to Australia, and his participation in the Claxton Shield tournament.
Last year at this time, Tim Cox was getting ready for spring training, a 20-year-old left-hander coming off a season where he had posted a 2.80 ERA over 103 innings for Boston's Low-A affiliate. Today he's back in his native Australia, and while he's still throwing plus curveballs, he has no plans to return to the United States to pursue a big-league career. Cox pitched for the New South Wales Patriots in the just-completed Claxton Shield, where he was named pitcher of the year after allowing only three runs in 24 innings. David talked to Cox about the Claxton Shield, some of the best young players in Australia, and why he decided to give up his dream of pitching in the big leagues.
The former Twins farmhand recalls winning the Silver Medal for Australia, and his unique record in the major leagues.
Glenn Williams holds a major league record that you probably aren't aware of. A 30-year-old native of New South Wales, Australia, Williams has played in 13 big league games--all with the Twins in 2005--and he hit safely in all of them (Williams had 17 hits in 40 at-bats). No other player in MLB history has appeared in more than three games and recorded at least one hit in each. Originally signed by the Braves in 1993, Williams spent last season with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, where he hit .235/.287/.358.