The Australian Baseball League’s (ABL) inaugural All-Star Game is set to showcase the best of Australian baseball’s talent when Team Australia take on the ABL’s top international players in a one game only, nine inning bout, at Barbagallo Ballpark in Perth on 21 December 2011.
Team Australia, hot off the back of a successful fifth place finish at the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup in September, will face off against the ABL’s best import players from the US, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India and Italy, in the All-Star game that could potentially include as many as ten current and former Major League players across both teams.
The Australian Baseball Federation (ABF) is very pleased with the opportunity for their Senior Men’s Team to play on home soil against such world class opponents.
Showcasing players who recently performed at the World Cup, the roster includes Australian representative veterans Chris Oxspring, formerly with the Detroit Tigers, and Justin Huber, formerly with the Minnesota Twins, and brings in some MLB class with the addition of Luke Hughes, current Minnesota Twins infielder, to strengthen the side.
Team Australia Manager Jon Deeble said “It is exciting that Australia gets to play on their home turf in front of a home crowd; it has been a long time. I think the All-Star Game is a great initiative by the ABL, and will be a great way to further showcase Australian Baseball talent.”
“There are a few guys unavailable due to the timing, but this presents an opportunity to give a couple of the younger guys like Roberts, Saupold and Schmidt a run,” said Deeble.
Four international professional baseball leagues will be represented at the event, including players from Major League Baseball, Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League, the Korean Baseball Organisation and the Chinese Professional League.
ABF CEO, Brett Pickett said that the All-Star Game is an exciting and rare opportunity for Australian supporters to see watch their elite senior team play at home, against some of the best in the world.
“The ABL is certainly cementing its place as an international professional league; with the ‘Alcohol Think Again’ Perth Heat’s participation in the Asia Series last month, and now the All-Star Game really brings home the scale of our competition and the fact that we are among the best.”
“Australian fans have waited a long time to see their national team play at home. I encourage the Australian Baseball fraternity to get behind our senior national team by heading out to the ballpark for their one and only chance to witness the single-game showdown; and to experience Australian baseball at its best” said Mr Pickett.
The 2011 ABL All-Star game will be televised LIVE in Australia on Fox Sports and replayed through the MLB Network in the United States. The estimated audience is expected to be one of the largest ever for a baseball game held in Australia.
Tickets are now on sale via www.theabl.com.au