Melbourne Reds

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Melbourne Reds
Reds3.png
League Australian Baseball League (1989-1999)
Location Melbourne
Ballpark Moorabbin Oval
Year founded 1989–90
Year folded 1999
Nickname(s) Reds
League championships 1989–90, 1994–95, 1997–98
Former name(s) Waverley Reds
Former ballparks Waverley Park (89–94)
Colours Red and White
Mascot Redmond
1998–99 20–23 (5th)
Manager Steve Livesey
Uniforms
Kit baseball cap redbill.png
Kit left arm borderonwhite.png
Kit right arm borderonwhite.png
Kit trousers beltonwhite.png

Home

Kit baseball cap redbill.png
Kit trousers beltongrey.png

Away

The Melbourne Reds were a Victorian-based baseball team in the Australian Baseball League. They were the only team to win the championship 3 times. The Reds originally played at the home of VFL/AFL football, Waverley Park from 1989 until the 1994 Championship, when they moved to the former home ground of the St Kilda Football Club, Moorabbin Oval for the 1994/95 Championship and played there until the end of Australian Baseball League in 1999.

History[edit]

Birth of the Reds[edit]

After the 1988 Claxton Shield the idea of an Australian Baseball League was floated, with the Waverley Baseball Club being one of the strongest clubs in Victorian Baseball they stepped forward in instigating a team to represent the south-east of Melbourne, and the Waverley Reds were created.

In the first Australian Baseball League championship the Reds went through the season winning 34 out of 40 games, with a home record of 17 wins 2 losses, the Reds went into the championship series favourites against cross town rival the Melbourne Monarchs winning 3 out of the 4 game series to become the inaugural Australian Baseball League Champions.

The Waverley Baseball Club were the original majority owners and managers of the team, until it was foreseen that ownership of the team was not going to be a profitable exercise and distanced themselves to avoid future debts affecting the future of the baseball club.

After Waverley[edit]

An obliging suitor soon appeared when young American Andy Karetsky arrived with a healthy bankroll of US dollars and a determination to become involved with baseball club ownership in Australia. Karetsky had made his fortune at the New York stock exchange and had first made overtures to buy into the Perth Heat club, before finding that the Waverley Reds were seeking a new majority owner.

Andy Karetsky was certainly a "forward thinking" guy who, quite truthfully, may have been a bit ahead of his time in terms of his visions for the Waverley Reds. He had plenty of lofty visions for the club based on his experiences with US baseball, but it is possible that he found these not so easy to "translate" into the Australian market. Certainly, whatever anyone may have thought about Karetsky's style and decision making, everything he did was with the best intentions for the Waverley Reds. He dearly loved "his team" and he was driven to make them succeed on and off the field! He moved the team from Waverley Park to Moorabbin Oval before the 1994/95 Championship. It was towards the end of the "Karetsky era" that he officially changed the name of the team from Waverley Reds to Melbourne Reds before the 1995/96 season, in the hope of broadening the supporter base of the club. However, Karetsky had to sell his ownership of the Reds due to personal reasons a short time later.

Decline of the ABL[edit]

After Karetsky, local baseball junkie and businessman Geoff Pearce purchased the majority ownership of the Reds, leading into the most difficult time of the ABL. Dwindling crowd numbers, severe lack of media attention and the ever shrinking budget of the club took away a lot of the early excitement and entertainment from the Reds games. However, with all these factors Pearce lead the club to its last hurrah in the 1997/98 Championship, becoming the only team to win the ABL competition 3 times.

Late into the 1998–99 Australian Baseball League championship, the Reds were in the process of making a deal with ACES Sporting Club in Keysborough to convert their golf driving range into a light baseball diamond with grandstand to be the home of the Reds, however with the Australian Baseball League collapse after the 1999 Championship this deal never went ahead, however the Sporting Club entered into a sponsorship with the successor Victorian team after the ABL, the Victoria Aces as naming rights sponsors of the team.

Seasons[edit]

Season Finish
1989–90 1st
1990–91 4th
1991–92 3rd
1992–93 4th
1993–94 6th
1994–95 1st
1995–96 2nd
1996–97 8th
1997–98 1st
1998–99 5th

The Reds were one of the most successful team in ABL history, having won the Championship title 3 times.

1989–90[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Phil Dale
34 6 .850 17–2 US Affiliate: Cincinnati Reds
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion David Clarkson .444 (126 At Bats) Pitching Champion Phil Dale 1.44ERA (9–2, 81.1IP)
RBI Champion Ron Carothers 41 (161 At Bats) Pitching Workhorse Carl Grovom 82.1IP (7–0, 2.73)
Home Run King Ron Carothers 6 Strikeout King Carl Grovom 70
Base Path Pirate Mark Linger 13 of 16 Sigh of Relief Mark Respondek 4 Saves

The first season of ABL play the Reds burst out of the blocks winning 34 out of the 40 games, only losing 2 games at home. The Reds played off with cross-town rivals, the Melbourne Monarchs, winning 3 out of the 4 play-off games to take out the Inaugural ABL championship.

1990–91[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Phil Dale
20 18 .526 10–10 US Affiliate: Cincinnati Reds
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion David Clarkson .370 (127 At Bats) Pitching Champion Mike Anderson 2.58ERA (6–1)
RBI Champion Ron Carothers 33 (149 At Bats) Pitching Workhorse Phil Dale 68.0IP (7–3, 3.18ERA)
Home Run King Ron Carothers 10 Strikeout King Mike Anderson 48
Base Path Pirate Pete Beeler 6 of 7 Sigh of Relief Dave McAuliffe 3 Saves, 5.76ERA

1991–92[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Phil Dale
27 19 .586 16–8 US Affiliate: Atlanta Braves
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion Jon Deeble .323 (130 At Bats) Pitching Champion Phil Dale 2.12ERA (7–3, 89.1IP)
RBI Champion R. Carothers & David Clarkson 33 Pitching Workhorse Scott Ryder 92.1IP (8–3, 3.80)
Home Run King Ron Carothers 7 Strikeout King Scott Ryder 71

Base Path Pirate

Brian Kowitz

Kevin O’Connor

(26 of 30)

(20 of 22)

Sigh of Relief Mark Respondek 3 Saves (2.93)

1992–93[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Phil Dale
26 21 .553 14–10 US Affiliate: Atlanta Braves
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion M. Sheldon-Collins .306 (173AB) Pitching Champion Carlos Reyes 2.02ERA (9–1)
RBI Champion David Clarkson 24 (137 At Bats) Pitching Workhorse Carlos Reyes 98.0IP
Home Run King D. Clarkson & Andrew Spencer 4 Strikeout King Carlos Reyes 74
Base Path Pirate Glenn Reeves 11 of 11 Sigh of Relief Phil Dale 7 Saves (2.47ERA)

1993–94[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Phil Dale
22 31 .415 10–15 US Affiliate: Atlanta Braves
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion Aaron Harvey .284 (183 At Bats) Pitching Champion Phil Dale 2.72ERA (4–5, 56.1IP)
RBI Champion Andrew Spencer 28 (146 At Bats) Pitching Workhorse Simon Sheldon-Collins 71.1IP
Home Run King Andrew Spencer 7 Strikeout King Simon Sheldon-Collins 50
Base Path Pirate Aaron Harvey 17 of 22 Sigh of Relief Phil Dale 5 Saves (2.72ERA)

1994–95[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Paul Runge
44 14 .750 19–7 US Affiliate: Atlanta Braves
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion David Nilsson .388 (160 At Bats) Pitching Champion Phil Dale

Dirk Blair

2.76ERA (12–2, 101.0IP)

3.21ERA (13–2)

RBI Champion David Nilsson 56 Pitching Workhorse Phil Dale 101.0IP
Home Run King David Nilsson 16 Strikeout King Phil Dale 75
Base Path Pirate Adam Burton 22 of 29 Sigh of Relief Brendan Ratcliffe 2 SV, 2.56ERA

In their first season at Morrabbin Oval the Reds, with many new faces (most notably, Australian Major League superstar David Nilsson), the reds won 44 of the 58 games. Facing the 4th-placed Sydney Blues in the "Best of 3" Semi-Finals, the Reds defeated the Blues 5–1 in Game 1, and then 7–4 in Game 2, allowing the Reds to qualify for the Championship Series against Perth Heat. The Reds defeated Heat 5–1 in game 1, and then 4–2 in game 2 of the series to win their second ABL Championship.

1995–96[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Jim Saul
27 21 .553 11–13 US Affiliate: Atlanta Braves
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion Greg Jelks .364 (55 At Bats) Pitching Champion S. Sheldon-Collins 3.40ERA (7–4)
RBI Champion Myles Barnden & D. Clarkson 23 Pitching Workhorse Simon Sheldon-Collins 76.2IP
Home Run King Myles Barnden 6 Strikeout King Damian Moss 58 (3.72ERA, 67.2IP)
Base Path Pirate Aaron Harvey 21 of 24 Sigh of Relief Phil Dale 3 Saves (4.46ERA)

1996–97[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Tom Nieto
17 41 .293 14–16 US Affiliate: New York Yankees
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion Myles Barnden .299 (177 At Bats) Pitching Champion Greg Resz 2.27ERA (4–4, 43.2IP)
RBI Champion Myles Barnden 32 Pitching Workhorse Warren May 53.2IP (4.53ERA)
Home Run King Myles Barnden 8 Strikeout King Greg Resz & Ben Ford 31
Base Path Pirate Ben Utting 9 of 12 Sigh of Relief Heath Martin 19 Appearances

1997–98[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Tom Nieto
30 21 .588 16–9 US Affiliate: New York Yankees
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion Adam Burton .388 (165 At Bats) Pitching Champion Pat Ahearne 3.36ERA 3–4, 56.1IP
RBI Champion Adam Burton 55 Pitching Workhorse Jason Beverlin 72.1IP 2–4, 6.22
Home Run King Adam Burton 21 Strikeout King Jason Beverlin 67
Base Path Pirate Adam Burton 18 of 19 Sigh of Relief D. Simpson & D. White 2 Saves

After finishing last in the previous Championship the reds were looking for redemption. The Reds finished in the top 4 to qualify for the "3-day Round Robin Series" to be played at the Melbourne Ballpark. Facing the Sydney Storm on Day 1, the Reds easily accounted for the Storm 18–5. Day 2 saw the Reds win a tight game against the Gold Coast Cougars winning 2–1. Day 3 the Reds faced off with cross-town rival Melbourne Monarchs in a dead rubber, the Monarchs winning 12–5. The Reds then played off with the Gold Coast Cougars, which saw the Reds run out winners 4–3 in game 1, and then 4–0 in game 2, to become the only team to take out the Australian Baseball League Championship 3 times.

1998–99[edit]

Wins Loss Win % Home Manager: Steve Livesey
20 23 .465 15–8 US Affiliate: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Award Name Stats Award Name Stats
Batting Champion Adam Burton .372 (148 At Bats) Pitching Champion David White 4.41ERA (7–4)
RBI Champion Adam Burton 40 Pitching Workhorse David White 81.2IP
Home Run King Adam Burton 14 Strikeout King David White 57
Base Path Pirate Adam Burton & Matt Quatraro 6 Sigh of Relief Matthew Gourlay 4 Saves

Uniform[edit]

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MRedsUniform.PNG

Waverley white with red trim top with "Reds" across the front, Red undershirt, white pants with red double strip down the leg, white socks with red t-bars.

Melbourne Home – white with red trim top with "Reds" across the front, navy blue undershirt, white pants with red strip down the leg, white socks with red t-bars. Away – same as home but with grey where white is.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]