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Official ABL Media Launch
Newly formed ABL makes its pitch to sports fans
10/28/2010 9:00 AM ET
 
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.

The establishment of the ABL is the latest success in the long-term partnership between MLB and the ABF. The Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program began in 2001 to provide world-class coaching, training and development opportunities for elite young players and has led to a 40% increase in the number of Australians playing professional and college baseball.

ABL Chairman Mark Peters said the ABL is exciting because this current generation of Australian baseball stars will get the opportunity to showcase their talent at home.

"Many of our current players who are playing in the Major leagues were too young to play in front of a home crowd in the former ABL, now it's their turn to excite the next generation of players, and recruit fans to the game," he said.

"As well as showcasing our own Australian talent, the ABL will feature top international stars who will be utilising the ABL as a catalyst to further their careers into some of the most notable professional Leagues around the world."

Australian Baseball Federation Director of High Performance, David Hynes foresees the ABL as next important step in the development of our junior elite players, and the growth of the sport in Australia.

"Our National teams have proven that our player talent is on par with some of the best baseball nations in the world; all without the existence of a professional League in Australia. The new League will allow us to develop that talent event further and advance our world 8th ranking."

Hynes also foresees the League as a fundamental component of increasing the game's participation numbers.

"The ABF has always enjoyed a solid foundation at grassroots and community level in baseball, but what the ABL represents is an opportunity to drum up some excitement around the sport, and expand the already thriving baseball fraternity in this country.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Stockman on 07-5510-6821 or at Jennifer.Stockman@baseball.org.au. This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.