The Adelaide Bite will be joined by the Brisbane Bandits, Canberra Cavalry, Melbourne Aces, Perth Heat and Sydney Blue Sox as the founding clubs of the ABL when the inaugural 40-game season begins in November.
The ABL is supported by Major League Baseball (MLB), the Australian Baseball Federation (ABF) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). Running from November through to February, the off-season of the Northern Hemisphere baseball season, the ABL will provide an opportunity for Australians competing overseas to demonstrate their talents at home while also attracting premiere prospects from the top pro leagues in the United States, Japan, Korea and elsewhere.
The Bite brand pays homage to the menacing Great White shark that patrols South Australia's coastal waters, as well as the state's geographic location along the iconic Great Australian Bight. The club will be based out of the traditional home of baseball in South Australia, Coopers Stadium at Norwood Oval. Twenty South Australians have played professionally with Major League Baseball affiliated clubs in the United States. "We are excited to build on baseball's proud tradition here in Adelaide, and look forward to providing the community with electrifying baseball and family-friendly entertainment," said Adelaide Bite General Manager Pat Kelly.
The six teams announced today have a deep pool of Australian talent to pick from with more than 75 Australians playing professionally for MLB affiliated teams, in the top Japanese, Korean and European leagues as well as the North American independent leagues. All told more than 300 Australians have played professionally including 28 for Major League Baseball.
Australia's rich baseball heritage dates back to the first game played between Richmond and Collingwood in 1857. In 2004, Australia brought home Olympic Silver, beating baseball juggernaut Japan. 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.
For your chance to "Be Part of it, From the Start of it," and to secure your Adelaide Bite foundation membership or for more information please log onto www.adelaidebite.com.au.
ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE:
The Australian Baseball League (ABL) is Australia's premiere professional baseball competition, and will commence its inaugural season in November 2010. A landmark partnership between the Australian Baseball Federation, Major League Baseball and the Australian Sports Commission, the ABL will feature a 40-game season and serve to elevate baseball's profile in the Australian sports landscape and fuel participation in the game. The ABL seeks to become the most fan-friendly and accessible sports code in Australia and to showcase, on home soil, enormously talented Australian baseballers, who for decades have excelled on the international stage. For memberships, tickets and information, please visit www.theABL.com.au.
To schedule an interview with Adelaide Bite or ABL representatives, please contact:
Rebecca Kelly, Media Officer, Adelaide Bite 0438 838 909 Gary Schueller, Media & Communications, Australian Baseball League 0404 423 070 or gschueller@theABL.com.au