Baseball a World Away

By on September 2, 2013

Dean Aldridge pitching this June for the GCL Tigers in Lakeland, Florida (Eddie Michels Photo)

CLEARWATER, FLA.—Playing a sport half way around the world might be difficult for some but for three players the other side of the world it has been a positive experience.

    SS Aaron Sayers 19 of Melbourne hit just .159 for the GCL Tigers this season in a limited role having a double, triple, scoring nine runs and driving in five.

    “It has been good and I have made some good friends and enjoyed being on the field every day,” said Sayers, “It’s a new experience playing every day here instead of just two or three times  a week back home.”

    Sayers is looking forward to returning back home and playing for the Melbourne Aces.

    “It will be good to go back home, see everybody there and playing the ABL (Australian Baseball League), then freshen up and come back here and do it again.”

    RHP Dean Aldridge 19 of Sydney had his good days and bad days on the mound for the GCL Tigers posting a 5.40 ERA over 20 innings spanning 13-games without recording a win or loss.

    “It’s different and not what I expected,” said Aldridge, “It’s tough, it’s spring training going on and on and on.  I got through that then extended (spring training) started and I wasn’t feeling very well, I just wasn’t happy with my performance.   Then when the GCL started my pitching started getting better and I started enjoying it, I was throwing well.”

    Aldridge did say later he was looking forward to playing for the Sydney Blue Sox of the ABL during the American Baseball off season.

    DH Dan Devonshire 21, a New Zealander by birth is in his second year of pro ball with the GCL Blue Jays.  He hit .154 with a double, two runs and 4 RBI in limited duty.

    “I loved it to come here and play some real baseball,” said Devonshire, “It was great playing in these faculties with all these different athletes. “

    Devonshire said that playing in the states has helped his development as a player.

    “On yea completely, back home we grew up playing baseball on a farm field.  It was like complete scrimmages, not knowing what was going on but to come here and actually learn how to play baseball and learn what the game was about.  I loved it.”

    Devonshire would like to spend the ABL season playing for the Brisbane Bandits as he has family in the area.

    Hopefully all three of these players will be back here in the states next year to give professional baseball another go.

MLB will open the 2014 season down under in Sydney with Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket ground.

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