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Cumberland not going home empty handed despite series loss
01/07/2018 11:49 PM ET
Brett Cumberland - Photo: Ben Southall | SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL Media - Round 4, Game 1 between the Canberra Cavalry and Melbourne Aces - Australian Baseball League (ABL) 2017-18. Match was played at 'The Fort' at MIT Ballpark in Narrabundah, Canberra, ACT, Australia on Thursday 7 December 2017.
Brett Cumberland - Photo: Ben Southall | SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL Media - Round 4, Game 1 between the Canberra Cavalry and Melbourne Aces - Australian Baseball League (ABL) 2017-18. Match was played at 'The Fort' at MIT Ballpark in Narrabundah, Canberra, ACT, Australia on Thursday 7 December 2017. (Ben Southall)

This past weekend's series loss to the Cavalry was disappointing for two reasons.

One, it always hurts to lose and with a tough run home, a series win against the Cavalry could have all but cemented the Aces a playoff berth in 2018.

Two, it was the last time we will see Brett Cumberland in an Aces uniform. 

The 22-year-old catcher turned outfielder has been among the league leaders in home runs all season long and reminded us all once again over the weekend of the power he possesses from both sides of the plate.

His towering shot over the left field wall on Sunday afternoon was his seventh homerun of the season and at the time we dubbed it, "the last at-bat he'd have as an Ace". Two innings later the Aces rallied and Cumberland would return to the plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth following Delmon Young's grand slam and once again, Cumberland would come up big, this time doubling off the left-centre wall with a shot that you would have sworn was gone when you saw it leave the bat.

Cumberland would finish his stint in the ABL with a .292 batting average and an on-base of .397 to go along with his seven home runs and 13 RBIs.

The Braves prospect will now head back home to Turlock California and start preparing himself for Spring training with Atlanta but says the opportunity to come and play baseball on the other side of the world is something all young prospects should jump at given the chance.

"It's a great league.

"You can't really beat the experience to come over to a different country and play some baseball and explore the country a little bit as well."

Having never hit more than .269 at a professional level and having never played anywhere else besides catcher, Cumberland says he's used the experience to try and continue to improve and is now looking ahead to the next challenge.

"It's been good being in the outfield.

"I'd like to continue that a little bit and get better out there."

While the Aces may have sent him off without the series win, Cumberland certainly isn't returning home empty handed, confirming that he would be taking home not one, but two Mark Hamburger surfboards to keep as a memento of his time in Australia.

"Very true, I bought two surfboards from him, mainly for my time here but I actually plan on taking them back.

"One of them will go on the wall and one of them I'll use to surf every day.

"That was very kind of him."

While on behalf of the Melbourne Aces, we'd like to pay thanks to Brett and certainly appreciate all of his efforts this season, we can't afford to get too sentimental for too long as there's still three series to come and our season hangs in the balance.

Given Cumberland's departure Manager Jon Deeble has already hinted that a replacement is on the way so fans can stay tuned to the Aces website and social media as we prepare the announcement of your newest Ace in the coming days

Want to follow Brett Cumberland's career? You can follow the now former Ace and Braves prospect via his Twitter (@bcumboslice) or Instagram (@brettcumby).

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.