The Adelaide Giants are a professional baseball team that plays in the Australian Baseball League. They are one of the six foundation franchises of the league. The club has been owned and operated by the Adelaide Football Club since June 2018.

The Giants have multiple alumni who have played in the MLB in following years and many players who play for Team Australia in an international level. The team is made up of up-and-coming MLB draft prospects who play minor league baseball in the USA or established Australian players. Former big-league players often play in the ABL.

The team's former home ballpark was the historic Norwood Oval in Norwood, South Australia. They made the move to West Beach in the 2016/2017 season.

During the 2010 through 2018 ABL seasons, the team was named the Adelaide Bite. That name was a reference to the Great Australian Bight - a nearby hydrographic landmark - as well as to the Great White Shark, a species which inhabits the coast of South Australia.[1] The franchise rebranded as the Adelaide Giants in time for the 2019 ABL season, a move that marked a return to the identity that graced Adelaide's entry in the original incarnation of the ABL from 1989 to 1999.[2]

As the Bite the team was famous for the "Shark Tank" - the only seating section in Australian sport where fans could sit on the actual playing surface during the run of play.

Adelaide's first general manager was former New York Yankees infielder Pat Kelly.[3] He served as the General Manager from 2009-2013.

The team has known heartbreak in the postseason. It has qualified for the playoffs in six of the ABL's ten campaigns since the league relaunched in 2010, advanced to the Australian Baseball League Championships Series four times, but has yet to win a title. As the Adelaide Bite, the franchise twice lost the championship series to the Perth Heat (2010–11 and 2014–15) and was bested by the Brisbane Bandits once (2015–16). As the Adelaide Giants, the team was defeated by the Melbourne Aces (2019–20).

In 2010 South Australian power company ETSA Utilities was announced as the major sponsor of the Adelaide Bite and that the team would be known as the Adelaide ETSA Bite.[4] After an ETSA rebrand to SA Power Networks the Bite became the "Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks."

Old logo
Old Cap Logo

Game day atmosphere

The Adelaide Bite were known for their unique sports atmosphere. Their speciality was the Shark Tank - a section where fans could sit on the field right next to the Adelaide Bite home dugout and interact with players. They also served a pig roast on the field as well as a drinks package.[5]

The nature of baseball allows kids to run around and chase foul balls. They even can run on the field in-between innings. There are many catchy songs, quirky Walk up music selections from the players, and many in-game activations.

In 2016, players from the Adelaide Football Club, Port Adelaide Football Club and Adelaide Strikers showed up to participate in a pre-game home-run derby that brought thousands of people to the stadium.[6]

Various entertainers appeared for their games including Ethan Hall (or "Hiccup Kid") who sang the national anthem while hiccuping before a game.[7] Other famous anthem singers include Darth Vader.

As the Bite, the team was known for its quirky off-field antics. On April 1, 2016, the Bite fooled the world by announcing that baseball legend Derek Jeter would be joining the club as a player manager. It would have been the most high-profile signing in Australian sports' history. The practical joke garnered international headlines including a story in The New York Times and the Yankees' Twitter account.[8]

Team Australia players

The Adelaide Bite send numerous players to represent team Australia on various international stages including the World Baseball Classic, World Baseball Classic qualification, Olympic baseball and Honkbal Hoofdklasse in Harlem.

Player Name Years Represented Level(s)
Angus Roeger 2015 2015 ABL All-Star Game
Stefan Welch 2009-2016 World Baseball Classic
Steven Chambers 2015-2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, Honkbal Week, ABL All-Star
Josh Tols 2015-2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, Honkbal Week, ABL All-Star
Matthew Williams (baseball) 2009-2016 Baseball World Cup, World Baseball Classic, World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, ABL All Star
Tom Brice 2002 - 2008 Olympics, Baseball World Cup
Wilson Lee 2016 Honkbal Week Harlem
Dushan Ruzic 2009 - 2016 Baseball World Cup, World Baseball Classic, Honkbal Week
Aaron Whitefield 2016–Present Australian National Senior Team
Mitch Edwards 2019–Present Senior Team Call Up

Notable alumni

The Adelaide Giants/Bite are the only ABL team who have had a former player progress to the big leagues every Major League Baseball season since the ABL's reincarnation. Some notable players include:

Brandon Maurer - Kansas City Royals pitcher, played for the Bite in 2010/11

Tom Brice - 2004 Olympic silver medalist for Team Australia

James Jones (baseball) - Seattle Mariners outfielder. Played for the Bite in 2011/2012.

Rinku Singh - The subject of the film Million Dollar Arm. Played for the Bite in 2011/2012.

Ji-man Choi - Tampa Bay Rays outfielder. Played for the Bite in 2012/2013

Rocky Gale - San Diego Padres Catcher. Played for the Bite in 2014/15.

Mitch Dening - Australian baseball player. Played in the top league in Japan for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows

Chang Tai-shan - Taiwanese baseball player. Holds record for all-time most CPBL home runs. Played for the Bite in 2017/18.

Year by year results

Season Record Finals Manager Team MVP
2010/11 23-17 (3rd place) Lost in Championship Series to Perth (1-2) Tony Harris
2011/12 20-25 (4th place) Lost in semi finals to Sydney (1-3) Tony Harris
2012/13 21-25 (5th place) No finals Tony Harris
2013/14 21-25 (5th place) No finals Charles Aliano/Brooke Knight
2014/15 32-16 (1st place, minor premiers) Lost in Championship Series to Perth (1-2) Brooke Knight Aaron Miller (baseball)
2015/16 30-26 (3rd place) Lost in Championship Series to Brisbane (0-2) Steve Mintz
2016/17 23-17 (2rd place) Lost in Preliminary Final Series to Brisbane (1-2) Steve Mintz
2017/18 11-29 (6th place) No finals Chris Adamson
2018/19 19-21 (6th place) No finals Chris Adamson Markus Solbach

Current Roster

Adelaide Giants roster - 2019–20 ABL
Active Roster Reassigned Players Coaching staff
Pitchers

Right-handed pitchers

  •  4 United States Dustin Beggs
  • 32 United States Ryan Chaffee
  • 59 Australia Tom Fitzgerald
  • 13 Australia Michael Gahan
  • 26 Australia Jason Lott
  • 12 Australia Tyson Mckee *
  • 37 Australia Greg Mosel
  • 42 Japan Diago Nushijima
  • 41 Japan Daina Ono

Left-handed pitchers

Catchers
  •  6 Australia Mitchell Edwards
  • 18 United States Logan O'Hoppe

Infielders

  • 10 Australia Mitch Lightbody *
  • 16 Australia Curtis Mead
  •  9 United States Eric Peterson
  •  3 United States Mikey Reynolds
  •  7 United States Cole Stobbe
  • 52 Australia Rixon Wingrove

Outfielders

Pitchers

  • -- Australia Darcy Barry
  • 48 Australia Jackson Brebner-Russ
  • -- Australia Liam Bull
  • -- Australia Jack O'Loughlin
  • 27 Germany Markus Solbach

Infielders

  • -- Australia Dylan Ridding
  • 24 Australia Nathan VanDerLinden

Outfielders

  •  5 Australia Angus Roeger
Manager
  • 30 Australia Chris Adamson

Coaches



Disabled list : 7-day disabled list
* denotes development player

25 December 2019

See also

References

  1. ^ Stockman, Jennifer (6 August 2010). "Adelaide takes a BITE at new ABL". Adelaide Bite. Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Adelaide Bite Rebrands To 'Giants' After 30 Year Hiatus". Ministry of Sport. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. ^ Our Staff[permanent dead link] Adelaide Bite
  4. ^ "ETSA Utilities named naming rights sponsor". Adelaide Bite. Australian Baseball League. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ PTV: Home Run Derby Port Adelaide vs Adelaide - portadelaidefc.com.au, retrieved 22 July 2016
  7. ^ "Boy who hiccupped through national anthem becomes internet sensation". ABC News. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Australian team uses Derek Jeter in April Fools' Day prank". Retrieved 22 July 2016.

External links