MLB Honour Roll
Following are profiles of Australians to have played - or who are still playing - at Major League Baseball level. The list is in roughly alphabetical order, with full details (and proper layout) to be completed as they become available through the assistance of these outstanding men to have achieved the pinnacle in our great sport. May there be many more to follow in their footsteps.......
Brad Harman was born in Melbourne, Victoria, and began his baseball at the Upwey Ferntree Gully Baseball Club. Brad was guided by his father in his career and largely through the influence and guidance of his dad, he was able to make it all the way to the Major Leagues.
Brad represented Victoria in the Junior National Titles throughout the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 age groups and he lists winning the Under 18 title in Canberra as one of the highlights through his junior years. Brad lists Matthew Sheldon-Collins as a huge influence on his career during those junior days and he credits Matthew with improving his game and helping him to understand what was required to get to the next level.
Brad was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 and made his debut with the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Phillies the following year. Brad led all shortstops in the GCL in fielding percentage in his first year of professional baseball before representing Australia in Under 19.
2005 was a big year for Brad as he started the year by winning the prestigious Helms Award for the Claxton Shield series, along with the Gold Glove Award. Later that year Brad played for the Phillies affiliate the Lakewood Blue Craws and finished with a .303 batting average. That year, too, he made his debut for the Senior Australian National team in the 2005 Baseball World Cup where he averaged .333 for the series.
Brad has been a regular member of the Australian National Team since then. He represented Australia at the Baseball World Cup in 2005, 2007 and 2009, the Intercontinental Cup in 2006 and 2008 and the World Baseball Classic in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Brad also represented his country in 2014 at the Opening Series where Australia played the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney.
Brad made his Major League (MLB) debut for the Phillies on 22 April 2008 - against the Colorado Rockies. He got his first hit (a double) against the Pittsburgh Pirates and was part of the organisation when the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.
Brad continues to contribute to the local baseball scene. He represents the Melbourne Aces in the Australian Baseball League as well as playing both summer and winter leagues in Victoria. He gives back plenty to the current juniors in those clubs and he is a role model for the next generation of Australian players.
Graeme Lloyd was born in Geelong, Victoria, and he grew up in the farming area of Gnarwarre. He began playing baseball for the All Stars club in Geelong and was a regular member of the Victorian junior teams through Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18.
Geelong was only part of the Winter League back then and did not have a presence in the Victorian Summer League. This meant Graeme had to join a Melbourne club – and he chose Essendon. It meant a lot of travel to Melbourne during those early years. Graeme is forever thankful to his mother and father for that, and he lists his parents as the biggest influences on his career.
Graeme made numerous Australian junior teams and played in the Australian Baseball League. He originally played for the Melbourne Monarchs but due to that club being suspended after the inaugural ABL season, he had to find another club to play for. Graeme was originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays and worked his way through their Minor League system.
Graeme was selected in the Rule V draft by the Milwaukee Brewers in late 1992 and made his Major League debut on 11 April 1993. He joined David Nilsson at the Brewers where they created history by becoming the first Australian battery combination ever in Major League.
During the 1996 season, Graeme was traded to the New York Yankees and pitched for them during their playoff run. Graeme pitched that post season with the Yankees - in Games Two, Three, Four and Six of that series. As the winning pitcher in Game Four, he instantly became a New York hero.
Graeme also played in the 1998 World Series and he has two World Series rings to his credit. He spent a total of eleven years pitching in the Major Leagues but rates those years with the Yankees as his fondest memories.
Graeme also represented Australia on numerous occasions and the highlight of this was being part of the Silver Medal team in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Since retiring as a player, Graeme continues to be heavily involved in Australian baseball. He is the Pitching Coach for the Perth Heat and of numerous Australian teams – including the women’s national team, a role he took on during 2014. He enjoys imparting his knowledge to the next generation and helping those players realise their dreams.
Graeme was inducted in the Australian Baseball Hall of Fame and in 2013 he was voted into the prestigious Sports Australia Hall of Fame.
Born in Queensland to Irish-born parents in the early 1860s – the exact year is subject to some conjecture - Joe Quinn was the only Australian to play Major League Baseball until Craig Shipley burst on the scene in 1986 and he was the first Australian-born manager of an MLB team.
Leaving Australia as a youngster, Quinn made his Major League debut in 1884 with the St Louis Maroons (Union Association Baseball League). He would go on to construct a remarkable seventeen-year career at the highest level, during which he was traded eleven times and suited up for nine clubs whilst playing 1768 games.
Boasting fine defensive skills, “Ol’ Reliable” - as he became known – was a second baseman who spent some game time at short stop and in the outfield, carding 1800 hits and a lifetime batting average of 0.261 over a lengthy career that included two stints as manager of St Louis Browns and Cleveland Spiders during the 1890s.
Quinn finished his playing career with Washington Senators in 1901.
Employed in his regular life as a mortician – and later owning a funeral parlour – Quinn juggled his work and playing responsibilities with National League umpiring duties for a couple of seasons and, even more importantly, he became a tireless champion of players’ rights during a universally turbulent time for industrial relations during the 1890s.
Loved by his peers and reputedly feared by wealthy National League owners, Quinn was a passionate spokesman and advocate for the Players’ League and he was instrumental in progressively negotiating a better deal, an achievement that garnered such respect that he was recognised by Sporting News as the most popular ballplayer in America for the 1893 season.
Spending all of his adult life in United States, Joe Quinn gained acknowledgment in his homeland when he was inducted to the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame in 2013. The posthumous honour brought focus and drew lasting recognition to the mighty achievements of an Australian baseball pioneer.
A native of Geelong, Australia, Josh Spence went to high school at St Josephs and spent his formative baseball years at the Geelong Baycats (summer) and the Guild Baseball Club (winter).
Achieving state representation at all junior levels, the left-armed finesse pitcher enjoyed a stellar college career that included two years at Central Arizona and one at Arizona State University, going a combined 37-8 with a 1.67 ERA.
In 2008 Josh was drafted in the twenty-fifth round by Arizona Diamondbacks, but chose not to sign while he focused on his college education. He was selected by Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 third round, again choosing to concentrate on college.
San Diego selected him in the ninth round of the 2010 draft and he began his professional career in the Padres system. He made his Major League debut a year later, pitching for the Padres on 24 June 2011. In two years with San Diego, Spence appeared in 51 games for an 0-3 record and an ERA of 3.15. He struck out 41 batters and conceded just 27 hits in 40 innings.
In November 2012 he was selected off waivers by New York Yankees before being released in August 2013. Signed as a free agent by Miami Marlins early in 2014, Spence spent time in the minors before being released on 19 May.
In five Minor League seasons Josh went 10-6 with a 3.29 ERA in 123 career games (nine starts).
Spending subsequent time with Amarillo Sox (American Association), Josh Spence was traded to Windy City Thunderbolts (Frontier League), where he spent the bulk of his fifth season of professional baseball.
In the off-season he has been focused on his Phoenix-based coaching service titled Thunderstruck.
Shayne Bennett was born in Adelaide, South Australia (SA) and developed into a top junior athlete in the state. A leading junior AFL player who was actually drafted by Collingwood in 1989, Shayne played one season with Collingwood reserves and thankfully for our sport he chose a baseball career instead.
Shayne began his junior baseball career with East Torrens Payneham Baseball Club and he represented SA in the Under 13, Under 15, Under 16 and Under 18 National Junior Titles. During those days in SA Shayne was influenced by Don Rice, Jeff Gray and Tony Harris.
Shayne chose a college baseball career over playing AFL for Collingwood and pitched a no hitter for his college in 1992. The following year he pitched his side all the way to the College World Series and he lists as one of his highlights playing in that series.
He was drafted in 1992 by the Chicago White Sox but chose to stay in college. The following year he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and signed with them. In January 2006, Shayne was traded to the Montreal Expos.
During his Minor League career, Shayne was selected to the Florida State League All Star team in 1995 and the following year pitched for his AA team (Harrisburg Senators) in its championship win.
Shayne continued to play in Australia during his off seasons, suiting up in the Australian Baseball League for the Adelaide Giants and then later on for the Gold Coast Cougars. He represented Australia in 1999 in the Intercontinental Cup and the following year played in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Shayne made his Major League debut on 22 August 1997 and pitched the next three seasons with the Expos club. Upon leaving the Expos, Shayne continued playing in South Korea and Taiwan.
He has been the recipient of many awards throughout his decorated career but the two he cherishes the most are being selected in the Australian Baseball Team of The Century and being voted into the Australian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Trent was born in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW) and started his career as a junior with Winston Hills Baseball Club. He represented NSW in the Australian Junior National Titles in the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 divisions and helped NSW win National Titles in the Under 16 and Under 18.
After the Under 18 titles, Trent was selected to represent Australia in the Under 18 World Cup played in Canada.
Trent was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2001 and proceeded to excel in the Minor Leagues. He received many awards and made a number of All Star teams through his journey, and lists being named to the 2006 Futures Game as one of his highlights. Trent’s career Minor League statistics include a 0.294 batting average with 84 home runs and 240 stolen bases.
Trent continued to represent Australia with the senior team and he was a member of the Silver Medal winning 2004 Olympic team. He also represented Australia in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics but it was in the 2007 World Cup where he excelled and made those in the USA take notice. During that 2007 tournament Trent hit an amazing 0.523 to win the batting title, he also scored the most runs, stole the most bases, won the award for the best outfielder and took home the MVP award for that tournament.
On 6 August 2009, Trent made his Major League debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks and proceeded to record his first hit, his first stolen base, his first RBI and his first home run all in that debut game. He finished the game 2 for 6 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Quite a debut. Trent continued to hit well and had hit his first three home runs in only 20 at bats. He also came one hit short of the cycle in a 4-hit game on 11 August 2009 and he became the fifth player since 1961 to have 12 safe hits in his first five Major League games.
Trent is also known as the first player to hit an inside the park home run against the Colorado Rockies.
Trent has played for both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Major League level and he is currently playing for Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League. Trent is helping to develop young players and has begun a coaching service called Trent Oeltjen’s Elite Training Camps and Lessons
If you’d like some lessons from one of our Major League players and improve your game, make sure you click on that link and contact Trent. He will be happy to help develop your game.
Glenn was born in Gosford, New South Wales (NSW) and was part of a baseball family where his father played Claxton Shield for NSW for many years. The influence and help of his father ensured Glenn played baseball as a junior and made it all the way to the Major Leagues.
As a junior Glenn started with the Ingleburn Magpies and played most of his juniors with the Bankstown Sports club. Glenn excelled in the sport and represented NSW at the Junior National Championships and was signed out of those championships as a 16 year old by the Atlanta Braves in 1993.
Glenn worked his way through the minor leagues and was selected to the AA All Star team in 2001 and the AAA All Star team in 2004. Glenn was called up to make his debut in the Major Leagues on June 7th, 2005 with the Minnesota Twins and recorded his first safe hit that same day. In fact, Glenn shares a MLB record in that he was able to record a safe hit in each of his first 13 games in the Major Leagues.
Unfortunately for Glenn, after singling in his 13th game to tie the record, he was badly injured after diving back into 1st base and separating his shoulder. The injury was so bad he was unable to get back to playing in the Major Leagues again, but finished at a young age with an incredible 17 safe hits in his 13 games played.
Glenn has also represented NSW in Claxton Shield and represented Australia often. Glenn was part of the NSW back to back Claxton Shield winning teams in 2004 and 2005 and was a member of the Australian Olympic team which won a silver medal in the Athens Olympics.
Glenn has had a lot of support from his father all through his career and also lists David Nilsson as a big help to him towards the end of his career. Glenn is the High Performance Manager for Baseball NSW and is the hitting coach for our National Senior Men’s team and is the National Hitting Co-ordinator.
Rich was born in Hornsby, New South Wales (NSW) and played at the Berowra Baseball Club and the North Ryde RSL Baseball Club as a junior.
He represented NSW from 1997 – 2001 in the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 teams at the National Junior Championships. Rich has also represented NSW at the Claxton Shield level (2001–2009) and in the ABL with the Blue Sox in 2010.
As a junior player, Rich was influenced by Mark Shipley who really encouraged him to pursue his dream of playing professionally, and helping Rich realise what it took achieve that.
Rich also represented Australia at the U/17 level (1999), the U/19 level (2000 and 2001) and has represented Australia with the Senior National team. He was part of the National Senior team which won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics and has also represented his country in the World Baseball Classic (2006 and 2009) and the World Cup in2007.
Interestingly, Rich was bat boy at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and went on to win a silver medal as part of the team 4 years later in Athens.
Rich was originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels (then the Anaheim Angels) in 2002 and made his Major League debut on September 1st 2007 for the same club. Rich was selected to the Midwest All Star team in 2003, the Texas League All Star team 2007, the Pacific League All Star team 2010 and was selected to the Futures Game in 2007 in his journey to the Major Leagues.
Rich suffered a shoulder injury in 2008 and missed a lot of time with that. He fought back to the Major Leagues through plenty of rehab and achieved his first win on September 10th 2010 against the Seattle Mariners. He has spent parts of six seasons in the Majors.
Rich was injured during Spring Training with Toronto Blue Jays and is currently rehabbing in Phoenix, Arizona.