Third base coaches: nerves of steel, and human calculators

­­­On Outside the Hangar recently, I’ve been writing about my experiences as a fan of the Melbourne Aces. They’ve been away on ABL duty in Brisbane this weekend, and to cheer myself up after their 3-1 series loss to the Bandits I’ve decided to write this brief piece about the perfect confluence of three things that spell happier times for me – attending an Aces game, making new friends in the stands, and seeing plenty of action on the basepaths when the ball is in play.

My new acquaintance and I, along with the rest of the fans were out of our wind-chilled seats early in the first inning of the Melbourne Aces game against the Brisbane Bandits last Sunday. With two out and runners at the corners, Dylan Cozens lined a ball to deep right field. Scott Wearne scored easily, while Kellin Deglan came flying around the bases but was held up at third by manager Tommy Thompson, who (not uniquely, at least in minor leagues, a co-Aces fan spectator tells me) pulls double duty as third-base coach:


Continue reading

One Day in September (or in February, May etc)

September is a beautiful time to be in Melbourne. Spring is slowly emerging, days are getting longer, the sunshine warmer, bees are buzzing – it’s difficult even to walk around the corner without stumbling over a cliché. To give the nice weather just a little more tingle, for AFL fans September means the final series and the glorious march to that One Day in September. sept Continue reading

@melbourneaces #marketing #viralvideo #awesome #mathsnotsogood

[Update: the 2014-15 Melbourne Aces blog is here]

After a century of competitive leagues and a national title that dates back to 1934, why is baseball still not popular in Aust? Advertising spruikers Little Black Book (LLB) think it’s due to the lack of videos like this, developed by ad agency Ogilvy Melbourne, showing Melbourne Aces players performing seemingly impossible feats of skill with baseballs (making a 7-10 at a bowling alley), bat (hitting a hole in one on a golf course) and glove (blindfold catches of speeding hockey balls). And lots of people are lapping it up.

As an LLB spokes-BS-er said, or was quoted as saying, or probably never said but someone just wrote it down and he approved it as sounding like something he’d say (and I’m paraphrasing here, even though it’s a shame to lose a single word):

Continue reading