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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

US Major League Baseball calls in the Cavalry

The United States’ Major League Baseball (MLB) will kick off today, 23 July, with some familiar Canberra Cavalry faces.

Seven former Cavalry players will participate in the COVID-revised league, which will include 60 games played over 66 days, instead of the regular 162-game format.

Cavalry Director Dan Amodio said the 10-year partnership between the MLB and Canberra Cavalry meant the community could watch some of the best players develop right on our doorstep.

“It’s exciting to watch players who come to Australia as young, unproven athletes develop into some of the best baseball players in the world,” he said.

“A lot of our fans follow MLB during the Aussie winter and it’s special for them to watch some of their favourite former Cavs compete on the biggest baseball stage in the world.

“These are guys who they’ve watched up close at MIT Ballpark, who have signed autographs for their kids, or in some cases who have stayed at their homes.” 

Preseason training camps for the league started at the beginning of this month, with the season to end on 27 September.

Mr Amodio said having the partnership with the MLB generated interest and excitement around Canberra’s baseball league.

“These guys are very talented and the best way to develop local talent is to play against good competition,” he said. 

“When these guys come over here, the Aussies get a chance to play against some of the best in the world.

“The players who come over are pretty high profile so it’s unique and a drawcard. We are more likely to get kids come and see these guys and then want to pick up a bat and join the local club.”

The local competition is set to kick off in November and run until mid-February 2021.

Mr Amodio said the Australian Baseball League would still include international players who would need to go through a quarantine period, and the game experience would be made COVID-safe.

Former Cavalry players in this year’s MBL:

  • Didi Gregorius — Cavalry Alum 2010/11 — Philadelphia Phillies
  • Kevin Kiermaier — Cavalry Alum 2011/12 — Tampa Bay Rays
  • Jon Berti — Cavalry Alum 2013/14 — Miami Marlins
  • Anthony Alford — Cavalry Alum 2014/15 — Toronto Blue Jays
  • Buddy Reed — Cavalry Alum 2017/18 — Oakland Athletics
  • Gabriel Arias — Cavalry Alum 2017/18 — San Diego Padres
  • Phil Pfeifer — Cavalry Alum 2019/20 — Atlanta Braves

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