Melbourne (Australia) Reds
(Redirected from Melbourne Reds (ABL))
- Location: Melbourne Australia
- Affiliation: New York Yankees (1997-1998)
- Ballparks: Moorabbin Oval
The Melbourne Reds were a baseball team in the Australian Baseball League. They had previously been known as the Waverley Reds; some sources list the name change as taking place before 1995-1996, when they went 27-21 and had no All-Stars under manager Jim Saul. Other sources state that they changed their name after 1995-1996.
In 1996-1997, the Reds were managed by Tom Nieto and were last at 17-41. They were 14-16 at home but 3-25 on the road. They had no All-Stars or league leaders. During the 1997-1998 ABL, Nieto's club pulled off a worst-to-first, going 30-21 to tie the Gold Coast Cougars for third in the regular season, a game and a half behind the Melbourne Monarchs. In the playoffs, though, the Reds swept the Cougars in two games then took two of three in the finals to wrap it up. Nieto won Manager of the Year honors, while SS Ben Utting and 2B Adam Burton (.381/.505/.861, 55 RBI, 18 SB, a league-high 66 runs) made the All-Star team. Shane Hogan was championship round MVP. Pat Ahearne (3.36) led the staff.
In the 1998-1999 season, the last for the ABL, the Reds were 20-23 and finished 5th under Steve Livesey - they were 15-8 at home and 5-15 on the road. Burton (.372/.469/.723) led the league in average and slugging as well as homers (14), runs (39) and hits (55). Burton won MVP honors and joined OF Matt Quatraro on the league All-Star first team. The 2nd-team All-Stars were 1B Brian Becker, DH Hogan and OF Darren White.
Primary Source: Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac