SYDNEY, 24 August - Brisbane Bandits catcher Cody Clark is headed to the major leagues for the first time. The Houston Astros selected Clark's contract from Double-A today, the culmination of a professional career that has taken him from Spokane to Rome (Georgia) to Omaha to Queensland to Oklahoma City and, finally, to the promised land.
After 11 years in Minor League Baseball, Clark received his first call-up to the big leagues Friday in the USA. At 31 years old, Clark was in Double-A Corpus Christi when the news came down today.
While speaking to the media today at Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros, Clark spoke of his emotions upon receiving the monumental news. In his meeting with Corpus Christi manager Keith Bodie, Bodie said, "How many managers have you had? I'm proud to be the one to tell you, you're going to the big leagues."
Clark said he "broke down" upon receiving word of his promotion.
A member of the Bandits for the 2012/13 season, Clark batted .299 with five home runs and 28 runs batted in. He also served as the primary catcher for a pitching staff that posted a 3.51 ERA as a unit, second-best in the ABL.
In Round Four of last year's competition, Clark claimed Delta Air Lines ABL Player of the Week honours after going 8-for-15 (.533) with two doubles, two home runs, two walks, two runs scored, and nine runs batted in during the Bandits' series split with Adelaide.
Clark becomes the third ABL product to play for the Astros this season, joining Melbourne Aces pitcher Travis Blackley, now a member of the Texas Rangers, and 2011/12 Sydney Blue Sox import Brandon Barnes. Clark also becomes the first Bandits player to reach the big leagues since the ABL's inaugural 2010/11 season.