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D'Antonio's long road to 300
Legendary utility becomes first Sox player to notch 300 games
12/23/2018 11:09 PM ET
Trent D'Antonio (Sydney Blue Sox) - Photo SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL Media. Action from the Australian Baseball League (ABL) Round 4 series clash between the Brisbane Bandits v Sydney Blue Sox played at Holloway Field Stadium, Newmarket, Brisbane.
Trent D'Antonio (Sydney Blue Sox) - Photo SMPIMAGES.COM / ABL Media. Action from the Australian Baseball League (ABL) Round 4 series clash between the Brisbane Bandits v Sydney Blue Sox played at Holloway Field Stadium, Newmarket, Brisbane. (SMP IMages)

3,600 hours - or 150 days. That's a conservative guess for how long Trent D'Antonio has spent driving to Blacktown International Sportspark throughout almost ten years playing for the Sydney Blue Sox.

Born and raised in Wollongong, south of Sydney, the 33-year old is as dedicated as they come, making the four-hour round trip to Rooty Hill three times a week for training.

And that conservative guess - the 150 days - doesn't even include the hours spent travelling to games, home and away.

Fortunately for Trent, the hours have passed rather quickly, as he suited up on Sunday afternoon for his 300th game in Blue Sox colours.

"It feels surreal actually," he says.

"Mentally, it doesn't feel like I've played that many [games] and it doesn't seem that long ago that I first got the opportunity to play at the senior state level."

Born into a family of baseball fanatics, Trent put his first bat to ball at the age of three.

His father played at state level, and his sister and mother did likewise in softball.

And by age 13, this Illawarra boy was representing NSW Country in their first-ever state team.

Four years later he was representing Australian Provincial, where he didn't get a hit until the very last day.

Yet since making his Blue Sox debut in 2010, Trent has continued to demand a starting position in the top grade.

From 1051 regular-season at bats, the 33-year old has managed 279 hits, 195 runs, 129 RBIs and 16 home runs, with his first being Sydney's maiden homer in the ABL.

"It felt pretty cool to have the first home run in the Blues franchise but I didn't hit another for the rest of the year," he laughs.

Playing 300 games in the ABL is a rare feat. In fact, only two other players have achieved the accolade in the league's history.

But Trent says that it's a realistic goal for anyone who is eager to embrace the changing landscape of the game in Australia.

"Baseball is one of those games where you learn something new every time you go out there," he says.

"If you are going be any good, you have to be a student of the game.

"This year with the ABL, it keeps getting better - there's more depth in Australian players and better quality in terms of imports.

"It keeps adapting and changing and you have to do likewise yourself."

As the league grows in popularity, more international products have come from across the globe to play in the ABL, including Sydney's own Gift Ngoepe (South Africa) and Nick Fanti (America).

Trent says that it's provided him with some of the best experiences of his career.

"The best part about the way our league works is having imports from different countries with different experiences, sitting around after a game sharing funny stories," he explains.

"I would have you here forever trying to retell some of the best."

Concerning a specific highlight, Trent says representing Team Australia in the 2017 World Baseball Championships was a special moment.

"Definitely playing in the 2017 WBC was a highlight and any time I get to put on an Australian jersey is [too]," he says.

"I'm trying to give myself the best chance at being a part of the Australian qualifying team and Olympic team for the 2020 games."

Currently sitting at the top of their division with a 17-7 record, the Blue Sox have made their best start to a season in the club's history.

And Trent says that there is still plenty of improvement in the squad to go all the way.

"We are right where we want to be," he declares.

"Pitchers are dominating and the bats are firing with even more room to get better on both sides.

"Our goal is to be there at the end of the year and anything can happen after that."

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