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Looking back at the original Giants
Who were the first local legends?
09/10/2019 11:28 PM ET
Old school Adelaide Giants including current General Manager (Baseball) Nathan Davison, right.
Old school Adelaide Giants including current General Manager (Baseball) Nathan Davison, right. 

As we stand tall for the upcoming season, beginning November 22, some may ask who were the original Giants?

In 1989 they were one of eight foundation clubs in the Australian Baseball League which ran until 1999.

Thirty years after first stepping onto a field three of those original teams remain with the return of the Giants - Perth Heat and Brisbane Bandits are the others.

Adelaide and Perth share history as well, with the Giants victorious in the first ever ABL game on October 27, 1989. It was an 8-5 win over the Heat.

Throughout the decade-long run 12 teams competed with the likes of Melbourne Monarchs, Gold Coast Clippers and Parramatta Patriots those to not survive.

On field the likes of Andrew Scott and Nathan Davison led a local brigade of talent. Both players started as young stars and were among just 15 players to feature in every season.

A star-studded line-up featured several big names over the years, from local NY Yankees players Mark Hutton and Pat Kelly, to pitcher Shayne Bennett (Montreal) and future MLB arm Luke Prokopec (Dodgers, Blue Jays).

Darren Fidge, Troy Scoble, Michael Dunn and Craig Watts were some of the other local legends.

On the other side, imports were key cogs in the machine and for all 10 seasons the LA Dodgers sent down talent.

From Paul Lo Duca and Matthew Herges, to Felix Rodriguez and future Bite manager Steve Mintz, a whole host of Americans called Adelaide home.

Many of those past players continued to influence the local baseball scene as the Bite, and now Giants, continued the legacy.

One theme which has tied together baseball through all eras in South Australia is heartbreak.

The Giants made finals on three occasions, in 1993/94, 1996/97 and 1998/99, but never reached the championship series.

A first-place finish on the regular season ladder in '98/99 was not even enough.

Regardless, fans flocked to Norwood Oval and the passionate support never waned. It helped to build a home ground advantage with a .588 win percentage (151 wins, 106 losses).

Overall, the Giants went .523 (257 wins, 234 losses) and were a mark of consistency from day one.

This article was written with thanks to Rob Laidlaw for his knowledge from Adelaide's 2018 throwback round program.

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