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Craig Shipley

Craig Shipley - 2B, 3B, SS
Hometown: Parramatta, NSW
Debut: 22 June 1986
Final Game: 25 September 1998
Teams played for: San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets

After Joe Quinn began playing professionally in 1884, over 100 years passed until the next Aussie debuted in the Majors. Craig Shipley has the distinction of being the first Australian born-and-bred ballplayer to make the majors.

The Parramatta, NSW-born infielder made his MLB debut in 1986 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Shipley came from a family of baseball players-a rarity in Australia at the time-and spent three seasons playing collegiate baseball at the University of Alabama before turning pro.

Shipley spent most of his career moving up and down the Major League ladder as a utility infielder with a strong defensive reputation. In 1996, he found a niche with the San Diego Padres, helping them win the NL West division title that season. He hit .271 in his 11-year career, which spanned 582 games and 1,345 at bats.

After his playing days ended, Shipley returned to the baseball world on the operations side, first as a roving Minor League instructor for the Montreal Expos and later as a professional scout for the Padres. He then spent nine seasons with the Boston Red Sox, working his way up to the position of Vice President of Player Development and International Scouting and helping the franchise win two World Series titles. With the Red Sox, Shipley played a significant role in the discovery and development of international baseball talent through his work as a player development executive and scout.

Shipley currently serves as a special assistant to the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks while also sitting on the Board of Directors of the Australian Baseball Federation.

View Craig Shipley's career statistics from Baseball Reference

(Photo at right: Craig Shipley [right] with Graeme Lloyd during the 2014 MLB Opening Series at the SCG. Credit: SMP Images/ABL Media)