SLICE OF HISTORY: The two foul poles used for the historic MLB Opening Series in Sydney (at the far right and left of photo) are coming to Brisbane. Picture: Celio Agostinho.
SLICE OF HISTORY: The two foul poles used for the historic MLB Opening Series in Sydney (at the far right and left of photo) are coming to Brisbane. Picture: Celio Agostinho. Celio Agostinho

Queensland gets a large slice of MLB history

BASEBALL: It was just a throwaway line, but it came from a major mover and shaker within The Big Show.

And that will lead to a large slice of the Major League coming to Brisbane next summer.

Well, visually, it's two large pieces of scenery from the MLB's Opening Series in Sydney, held last month, to be more precise.

Holloway Field is set to receive the two large foul poles used during last month's first ever MLB games that were played Down Under, between the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The two planks of history from that highly-acclaimed series were acquired thanks to the foresight showed by the Windsor Royals, the club that shares the ground with the Australian Baseball League's Bandits.

Club president Mark Ready reached out to the ABL for the towering 15m poles, and he hauled them up the Pacific Highway to the venue through his company Ready Towing.

But it all started courtesy of a casual conversation between the ABL's manager of baseball operations and facility development, Dan Amodio, and Murray Cook, the MLB's head of facilities and projects.

Amodio, who has an impressive resume after working as a strategy volunteer for ballparks in the MLB, moved to Brisbane from Sydney, for three months before the start of last summer's ABL season in October.

He then devoted most of his time to getting Holloway Field up to scratch, with great results, after the Bandits relocated there from the RNA Showgrounds last season.

But Cook noticed something a little strange when he visited Amodio to assist him with his refurbishment plans.

"He mentioned to me that the foul poles weren't big enough," Amodio told APN.

"And you wouldn't believe it, but six months later, here we are with the big 15m-high foul poles that will be sent up there from the Opening Series."

Those foul poles formed just a part of the SCG's stunning transformation from cricket ground to ballpark.

They were bolted into 3.5-tonne concrete blocks.

Other temporary ground facilities from the Opening Series, such as the impressive wooden dugout benches, are up for auction.

Amodio is one of Australia's few links to key figures within the Major League.

And the loud noise those officials are making, after the huge success of the Opening Series, is that we could see another one Down Under - as little as four years from now.

"They (top MLB officials) were saying it was a case of 'if', not 'when', another series would return to Australia," Amodio said.

"The Major League is making a conscious effort to grow the game down here - they've poured in over $6 million to the game since the new ABL was re-established in 2010."



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