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Oxspring's Korean journey continues
Australian legend tips Geelong-Korea to surprise
10/17/2018 9:25 PM ET
(C) SMP IMAGES | ABL MEDIA
(C) SMP IMAGES | ABL MEDIA 

Very few Australians have a better understanding of Korean baseball than Chris Oxspring.

The Olympic silver medallist and Team Australia star forged a memorable career, which included stints in Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan) and most recently, the Korean Baseball Organisation.

After a five-game stint with the San Diego Padres in 2005, Oxspring found a home in Korea, tossing over 800 innings in five seasons with the LG Twins, Lotte Giants and KT Wiz.

Oxspring has been a key figure in the revamped Australian Baseball League too, tossing six scoreless innings in the first game of the 2010 season.

Now, nearly eight years to the day since the ABL returned to the Australian sporting landscape, two new expansion teams will join the competition, and Oxspring believes Geelong-Korea may cause a few upsets.

"Don't be surprised if Geelong-Korea ruffle a few feathers with the way they play," Oxspring said.

"It'll be different, the league in Korea is breaking ball heavy and focused on control over velocity.

"I think they'll be competitive and win right away. It's really exciting to see the talent levels and increased opportunities for Australian, Korean and New Zealand ballplayers."

Geelong-Korea will be managed by Koo Dae-sung, a long-time teammate of Oxspring, and someone who brings unparalleled experience in both Australian and Korean baseball.

"Underestimating this team with Koo at the helm would be a mistake," Oxspring said of Geelong-Korea.

"He (Koo) has extensive knowledge of both Korean and Australian baseball, and is a very intelligent man.

"Koo will go in with a specific plan for each team he faces based on their strengths and weaknesses, and don't be surprised if he has some aces up his sleeve."

Oxspring has immense pride in his home country, and will go down in Australian baseball folklore after recording two wins against the seemingly unbeatable Japan at the 2004 Olympics.

He has seen significant changes in the Australian baseball landscape, but believes the addition of two new teams in the ABL will bring wide-ranging benefits.

"There's been a lot of changes since I began playing professionally," he said.

"The quality of the league has increased dramatically since 2010, with more players coming back to Australia after playing in the USA.

"The development part of baseball is now widely regarded in Australia, with more knowledge and experience filtering down from the professional guys to young kids in the ABL.

"Baseball is making huge strides in Australia, which is fantastic to see for someone like me who has put a lifetime's work into the sport."

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