List of Major League Baseball players from Australia

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Joe Quinn posing in a Boston Beaneaters uniform.
Joe Quinn, the first Australian to play in MLB
Number of Australian MLB players by season.
Graph showing the number of Australians to have played at least one MLB game in a season since 1986

The first recorded baseball event in Australia took place in Melbourne, Victoria in 1857, between teams from Collingwood and Richmond. Accounts vary as to the details, including whether it was a single game or a series of three games, though details in common include a score of 350–230 in favour of Collingwood, and that the rules used were some form of hybrid between cricket and baseball, with teams batting until all players were out, and runs being scored for every base crossed, rather than just for reaching home plate.[1][2] Though there are no records to confirm it, the commonly held belief is that baseball in Australia originated on the Ballarat gold-fields among American miners.[1] The Claxton Shield, the first annually recurring national tournament, commenced in 1934. Though the tournament itself has been supplanted at various points in its history, the physical Shield is still awarded to the national champions in the Australian Baseball League.[3] From 2011, the national champions will meet other champions from Japan, South Korea and Chinese Taipei in the Asia Series.[4]

As of the 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) season, 31 Australians have played in at least one MLB game. Of those players, 28 were born in Australia, the remainder having been born elsewhere but raised in Australia and have played for the Australia national baseball team at International Baseball Federation or sanctioned tournaments such as the Olympic Games and World Baseball Classic. 21 of the players have been pitchers and the other 10 have been position players.

Australia became the sixth country (not counting the United States) to have a player represent it in the major leagues, when Joe Quinn made his debut on 26 April 1884 for the St. Louis Maroons. Quinn also became the first Australian-born manager, as a player-manager for the St. Louis Browns in 1895.[5] After Quinn played his last MLB game, it was almost 85 years before another Australian would appear in an MLB game: Craig Shipley on 22 June 1986 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.[6] The most recent Australian-born player to make his debut in the major leagues is Liam Hendriks, who played for the Minnesota Twins on 6 September 2011.[7]

As of 2013, Grant Balfour and David Nilsson are the only Australians to have played in an MLB All-Star Game. In 2013, Balfour was added to the squad by AL manager Jim Leyland as a 'Sunday replacement' pitcher. In 1999, Nilsson was one of two players from the Milwaukee Brewers to be selected.[8] At this time the starting lineup was selected by the fans through voting at stadiums and online. The remaining players were selected by the managers of the respective teams, themselves having been the managers of the league champions from the previous season: in Nilsson's case, he was selected by Bruce Bochy, who had managed the San Diego Padres to the 1998 World Series against the New York Yankees.[9]

Trent Durrington became the only Australian position player to pitch in an MLB game when he appeared for the Milwaukee Brewers on 17 April 2004 against the Houston Astros.[10] Durrington had already entered the game initially as a pinch hitter and remained in the game playing at third base. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Durrington faced one hitter and induced a fly ball out.[11]

Players[edit]

Key
1B First baseman
2B Second baseman
3B Third baseman
C Catcher
DH Designated hitter
IF Infielder
M Manager
OF Outfielder
P Pitcher
SS Shortstop
U Utility
* Member of Baseball Australia Hall of Fame
Peter Moylan partway through his pitching motion, wearing the Atlanta Braves road uniform in 2009.
Peter Moylan playing for the Atlanta Braves in San Diego, August 2009
Trent Oeltjen wearing the Los Angeles Dodgers home uniform in 2011.
Trent Oeltjen playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, June 2011
Ryan Rowland-Smith wearing the Seattle Mariners home uniform in 2008.
Ryan Rowland-Smith playing for the Seattle Mariners in Seattle, August 2008
Australian MLB players
Player Position Debut Debut team Final game Final team Ref(s)
Balfour, GrantGrant Balfour P 22 July 2001 Minnesota Twins Active[P 1] Tampa Bay Rays [12]
Bennett, ShayneShayne Bennett* P 22 August 1997 Montreal Expos 15 August 1999 Montreal Expos [13][14]
Blackley, TravisTravis Blackley P 1 July 2004 Seattle Mariners Active[P 1] Texas Rangers [15]
Cairncross, CamCam Cairncross P 20 July 2000 Cleveland Indians 1 October 2000 Cleveland Indians [16]
Durrington, TrentTrent Durrington 2B / 3B / DH 6 August 1999 Anaheim Angels 28 September 2005 Milwaukee Brewers [17]
Ettles, MarkMark Ettles P 5 June 1993 San Diego Padres 9 July 1993 San Diego Padres [18]
Harman, BradBrad Harman IF 22 April 2008 Philadelphia Phillies 8 May 2008 Philadelphia Phillies [19]
Hendriks, LiamLiam Hendriks P 6 September 2011 Minnesota Twins Active[P 1] Kansas City Royals [7]
Huber, JustinJustin Huber 1B / DH / OF 21 June 2005 San Diego Padres 11 September 2009 Minnesota Twins [20]
Hughes, LukeLuke Hughes IF 28 April 2010 Minnesota Twins Active[P 1] Oakland Athletics [21]
Hutton, MarkMark Hutton P 23 July 1993 New York Yankees 21 May 1998 Cincinnati Reds [22]
Lindsay, ShaneShane Lindsay P 2 September 2011 Chicago White Sox 12 September 2011 Chicago White Sox [23]
Lloyd, GraemeGraeme Lloyd* P 11 April 1993 Milwaukee Brewers 27 September 2003 Kansas City Royals [24][25]
Moss, DamianDamian Moss P 26 April 2001 Atlanta Braves 29 April 2004 Tampa Bay Devil Rays [26]
Moylan, PeterPeter Moylan P 12 April 2006 Atlanta Braves Active[P 1] Atlanta Braves [27]
Nakamura, MichealMicheal Nakamura[P 2] P 7 June 2003 Minnesota Twins 31 July 2004 Toronto Blue Jays [28]
Nilsson, DavidDavid Nilsson* C / 1B / DH / OF 18 May 1992 Milwaukee Brewers 3 October 1999 Milwaukee Brewers [24][29]
Oeltjen, TrentTrent Oeltjen OF 6 August 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks 28 September 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers [30]
Oxspring, ChrisChris Oxspring P 2 September 2005 San Diego Padres 17 September 2005 San Diego Padres [31]
Prokopec, LukeLuke Prokopec P 4 September 2000 Los Angeles Dodgers 23 August 2002 Toronto Blue Jays [32]
Quinn, JoeJoe Quinn U / M[P 3] 26 April 1884 St. Louis Maroons 23 July 1901 Washington Senators [5]
Rowland-Smith, RyanRyan Rowland-Smith P 22 June 2007 Seattle Mariners 3 October 2010 Seattle Mariners [33]
Shipley, CraigCraig Shipley* U 22 June 1986 Los Angeles Dodgers 25 September 1998 Anaheim Angels [6][24]
Snelling, ChrisChris Snelling[P 4] OF 25 May 2002 Seattle Mariners 6 June 2008 Philadelphia Phillies [34]
Spence, JoshJosh Spence P 24 June 2011 San Diego Padres Active[P 1] New York Yankees [35]
Stephens, JohnJohn Stephens P 30 July 2002 Baltimore Orioles 29 September 2002 Baltimore Orioles [36]
Stockman, PhilPhil Stockman[P 5] P 15 June 2006 Atlanta Braves 11 June 2008 Atlanta Braves [37]
Thomas, BradBrad Thomas P 26 May 2001 Minnesota Twins 20 May 2011 Detroit Tigers [38]
Thompson, RichRich Thompson P 1 September 2007 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Active[P 1] Oakland Athletics [39]
Williams, GlennGlenn Williams 3B 7 June 2005 Minnesota Twins 28 June 2005 Minnesota Twins [40]
Williams, JeffJeff Williams P 12 September 1999 Los Angeles Dodgers 28 September 2002 Los Angeles Dodgers [41]
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Denotes that the player played at least one game in the 2012 season
  2. ^ Nakamura was born in Japan, but raised in Australia from the age of 3. He competed for Australia at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
  3. ^ Quinn acted as player-manager for the 1895 St. Louis Browns and the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.
  4. ^ Snelling was born in the United States, but was raised in Australia. He competed for Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, 2009 World Baseball Classic and 2009 Baseball World Cup.
  5. ^ Stockman was born in England, but was raised in Australia. He competed for Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and 2006 World Baseball Classic.

Postseason appearances[edit]

Grame Lloyd wearing a Perth Heat baseball uniform.
Graeme Lloyd, the first Australian to appear in a World Series

Joe Quinn became the first Australian to make an appearance in a postseason game for a Major League team, when the Boston Beaneaters met the Cleveland Spiders in a best-of-nine game series between the season's first half and second half leaders. In 1892, the National League (NL) was the only active Major League, and Boston were already considered to be the NL pennant winners as they had the best record at the end of the season, and the series—won by the Beaneaters 5–0 (with one tie)—was considered an exhibition series.[42]

In the modern era (considered to be from 1901 to today by MLB, as it was the first season with both of the current Major Leagues in operation), four Australians have played in postseason games, all of them pitchers. Graeme Lloyd became the first, playing with the New York Yankees in 1996. He made appearances against the Texas Rangers in the League Division Series, the Baltimore Orioles in the League Championship Series, and the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Lloyd was credited with the win in game 4 of the 1996 World Series,[43] becoming the first Australian player to do so, as well as becoming the first Australian to be a World Series champion when the Yankees won in 1996[44] and again in 1998.[9]

Grant Balfour partway through his pitching motion, wearing the Tampa Bay Rays road uniform in 2008.
Grant Balfour has the most postseason appearances of any Australian.

Grant Balfour holds the record for most appearances in postseason games for an Australian, having played in a total of seventeen games, thirteen with the Tampa Bay Rays, two with the Minnesota Twins and two with the Oakland Athletics.[12] Damian Moss and Peter Moylan are the other two Australians to have made a postseason appearance, both having played for the Atlanta Braves against the San Francisco Giants: Moss in the 2002 National League Division Series,[26] and Moylan in the 2010 National League Division Series.[27]

Australian players in MLB postseason games
Player Seasons World Series LCS LDS Ref(s)
Series
won
Series
played
Games
played
Series
won
Series
played
Games
played
Series
won
Series
played
Games
played
Grant Balfour 2004 Minnesota Twins
2008 Tampa Bay Rays
2010 Tampa Bay Rays
2012 Oakland Athletics
2013 Oakland Athletics
0 1 3 1 1 4 1 5 13 [45]
[46][47][48]
[49]
[50]
[51]
Graeme Lloyd 1996 New York Yankees
1997 New York Yankees
1998 New York Yankees
2 2 5 2 2 3 2 3 5 [52][53][44]
[54]
[55][56][9]
Damian Moss 2002 Atlanta Braves 0 0 0 1 2 [57]
Peter Moylan 2010 Atlanta Braves 0 0 0 1 4 [58]
Joe Quinn 1892 Boston Beaneaters 1 1 6 [42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clark, Joe (2003). "The Origins of Australian Baseball". A History of Australian Baseball: Time and Game. Lincoln, NE, United States: University of Nebraska Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-8032-6440-2. 
  2. ^ Bjarkman, Peter C (2005). "Europe, Africa, and the Pacific Rim". Diamonds Around the Globe. Westport, CT, United States: Greenwood Press. p. 358. ISBN 0-313-32268-6. 
  3. ^ Nash, Stephen (9 February 2010). "ACES: a message from the General Manager". Baseball Victoria. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Stephan, Gene (19 May 2011). "Heat to take on Asia's best teams". The West Australian (Seven West Media Limited). Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Joe Quinn statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Craig Shipley statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Liam Hendriks statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "1999 All-Star Game". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "1998 World Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Non-Pitchers with pitching appearances". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "April 17, 2004 – Milwaukee Brewers @ Houston Astros – Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Grant Balfour statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Anderson, Michelle (28 November 2007). "ABF Formally Announces Inductees to Baseball Australia Hall of Fame". Baseball Australia. Australian Baseball Federation. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Shayne Bennett statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Travis Blackley statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cam Cairncross statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Trent Durrinton statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Mark Ettles statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "Brad Harman statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "Justin Huber statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Luke Hughes statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Mark Hutton statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "Shane Lindsay statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c Stockman, Jennifer (24 December 2005). "2005 Inaugural Hall of Fame Inductees". Baseball Australia. Australian Baseball Federation. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "Graeme Llyod statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  26. ^ a b "Damian Moss statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  27. ^ a b "Peter Moylan statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "Micheal Nakamura statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "Dave Nilsson statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Trent Oeltjen statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Chris Oxspring statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  32. ^ "Luke Prokopec statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "Ryan Rowland-Smith statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Chris Snelling statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  35. ^ "Josh Spence statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "John Stephens statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  37. ^ "Phil Stockman statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  38. ^ "Brad Thomas statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  39. ^ "Rich Thomas statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  40. ^ "Glenn Williams statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  41. ^ "Jeff Williams statistics". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  42. ^ a b "1892 Championship Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  43. ^ "1996 World Series Game 4". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  44. ^ a b "1996 World Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  45. ^ "2004 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  46. ^ "2008 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  47. ^ "2008 League Championship Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  48. ^ "2008 World Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  49. ^ "2010 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  50. ^ "2012 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  51. ^ "2013 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  52. ^ "1996 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  53. ^ "1996 League Championship Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  54. ^ "1997 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  55. ^ "1998 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  56. ^ "1998 League Championship Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  57. ^ "2002 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  58. ^ "2010 League Division Series". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
General sources