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.
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. 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.
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.
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. After an ETSA rebrand to SA Power Networks the Bite became the "Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks."
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.
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.
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.
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|
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:
Tom Brice - 2004 Olympic silver medalist for Team Australia
Rocky Gale - San Diego Padres Catcher. Played for the Bite in 2014/15.
Year by year results
|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|
Adelaide Giants roster - 2019–20 ABL
|Active Roster||Reassigned Players||Coaching staff|
: 7-day disabled list
|25 December 2019|
- Stockman, Jennifer (6 August 2010). "Adelaide takes a BITE at new ABL". Adelaide Bite. Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "Adelaide Bite Rebrands To 'Giants' After 30 Year Hiatus". Ministry of Sport. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Our Staff[permanent dead link] Adelaide Bite
- "ETSA Utilities named naming rights sponsor". Adelaide Bite. Australian Baseball League. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- PTV: Home Run Derby Port Adelaide vs Adelaide - portadelaidefc.com.au, retrieved 22 July 2016
- "Boy who hiccupped through national anthem becomes internet sensation". ABC News. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Australian team uses Derek Jeter in April Fools' Day prank". Retrieved 22 July 2016.