SYDNEY, 3 December - The official Team Australia and World All-Stars rosters have been named for the 2012 ConocoPhillips ABL All-Star Game presented by 'Be the Influence: Tackling Binge Drinking' in Melbourne on Sunday, 16 December at 2pm.
The country’s best homegrown talent, Team Australia, will face off against the World All-Stars, comprised of the league’s best import players from across the globe. Three of the world’s leading professional baseball leagues, Major League Baseball, Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League and the Korean Baseball Organisation, will be represented by both sides at the event.
Ten players featured in the All-Star Game have already made their debuts in the MLB.
The World All-Stars defeated Team Australia 8-5 in last year’s inaugural ABL All-Star Game held in Perth. Team Australia will not take this rematch lightly, as the highly competitive game will serve as a vital precursor for the upcoming 2013 World Baseball Classic where they will represent Australia.
Last year’s All-Star Game was televised in over 300 million households in over 45 countries and this year’s event is expected to have a similar international reach.
The All-Star game will mark the first time in four years Team Australia has played in Victoria.
NOTABLE PLAYERS FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA
Team Australia will be reunited after a successful run in the Australia Series in October against the Sydney Blue Sox. The All-Star Game will be an important showcase for coaches to evaluate the potential roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Luke Hughes (Perth Heat)- Former Major Leaguer hit a home run in his first career at-bat for the Minnesota Twins.
Josh Roberts (Brisbane Bandits)- First Australian player to reach 100 hits in the new ABL.
Chris Oxspring (Sydney Blue Sox)- Collected three Delta Pitcher of the Week honours this season. Former Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres pitcher is the only dual player/coach in the ABL.
Brad Harman (Melbourne Aces)- Former Major Leaguer hit the most home runs (15) last season in the ABL.
Stefan Welch (Adelaide Bite)- Currently affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates and long-time member of Team Australia.
NOTABLE PLAYERS FOR WORLD ALL-STARS
The World All-Stars will feature the ABL's best import talent from the US, Japan, and Korea and former Major Leaguers as well as players from Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League and the Korean Baseball Organisation.
Dae-Sung Koo (Korea-Sydney Blue Sox)- Legendary Korean reliever played in the Korean Baseball Organisation, Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball with the New York Mets.
Virgil Vasquez (USA-Perth Heat)- Former Major League pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates. Last year’s ConocoPhillips ABL Championship Series Most Valuable Player.
Shota Nakata (Japan-Melbourne Aces)- Japanese catcher who has had early success at the plate in the ABL. Currently affiliated with the Seibu Lions of Japan’s NPB.
Cody Clark (USA-Brisbane Bandits)- Earned Delta Player of the Week honours in Round Four of ABL play after batting .533 in the four-game series. Currently affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.
Ji-Man Choi (Korea-Adelaide Bite)- Korean infielder currently affiliated with the Seattle Mariners.
K.C. Hobson (USA-Canberra Cavalry)- Named the first Delta Player of the Week this season in the ABL after hitting 6-for-10 with two home runs. Currently affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Click here to purchase your All-Star Game tickets online.