- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.
Paul Gorman won one Australian Baseball League batting crown and was finals MVP one year.
Gorman debuted in the first ABL season, 1989-1990, hitting a meek .189/.214/.262 for the Gold Coast Clippers. In 1990-1991, he batted .256/.312/.360 for the Daikyo Dolphins. He then turned things up another notch, producing at a .369/.394/.615 clip with 29 RBI in 39 games for the Daikyo club in the 1991-1992 ABL. He led the league in average (11 points ahead of Richard Vagg) and was second in slugging (63 points behind Tony Adamson) while the Dolphins won it all. He failed to win first-team All-Star honors at 3B, though, picked at second-team behind Shaun Hrabar.
Gorman signed with the California Angels after that winter. He split the summer of 1992 in very limited action between the AZL Angels (3 for 14, 2B, 6 BB, 7 R, 3 RBI) and Boise Hawks (3 for 14, 3 BB, R, 3 RBI), fielding .786 in 10 games at third overall. Like other players with contracts in Organized Baseball, Gorman had to switch from an aluminum bat to a wooden one in his remaining ABL seasons. He fell off to .252/.307/.307 in 1992-1993 as a result. He moved to the Beloit Brewers in the summer of '93 and batted .237/.392/.356 in 22 games, fielding .902, continuing to show a great walk rate and moderate power but not enough contact or glovework. He hit .229/.305/.338 for the 1993-1994 East Coast Cougars.
Out of the minor leagues, Paul returned to an aluminum bat in 1994-1995 and batted .270/.353/.440 with 33 RBI in 49 games, while fielding .969. He broke his leg in an outfield collision and missed the entire 1995-1996 ABL campaign. Returning to the field in 1996-1997, the Brisbane native produced at a .277/.369/.428 rate for the Gold Coast Cougars.
Gorman had his second big season in 1997-1998, batting .370/.484/.705 with 17 homers (more than his prior four seasons combined), 36 walks, 46 runs and 49 RBI in 51 games for the Cougars while fielding .957. He was 5th in the circuit in walks and third in OBP (behind only Brendan Kingman and Adam Burton). Unlike 1991-1992, he was named the first-team All-Star 3B, beating out Clayton Byrne.
He regressed to a still-productive .263/.381/.451 with a .906 fielding percentage and 35 runs in 40 games in 1998-1999. He tied Clint Balgera for 4th in the loop in walks (22) and was second in runs, four shy of Burton. He was named the second-team All-Star 3B, with Paul Gonzalez getting the first-team nod. In the playoffs, he excelled, with two four-RBI games and a game-winning, bottom-of-the-9th, come-from-behind, two-out homer against the Sydney Storm's Grahame Cassel in the first game of the finals. He was named the MVP of the championship series.
In the ABL's initial 10-year run, Gorman was among the career leaders in games played (378, 14th, between Peter Hartas and John Moore), at-bats (1,220, 13th), runs (203, 18th), hits (339, 13th, between Ron Carothers and Mark Shipley), RBI (225, 10th, between Sean Jones and Craig Watts), homers (50, 17th, just ahead of the legendary Dave Nilsson, who did play many fewer games though), total bases (542, 16th, between Greg Jelks and Carothers) and walks (143, 14th, between Vagg and David Clarkson).
When the ABL was replaced by the International Baseball League of Australia, Gorman was one of the veterans who remained on board. He hit .238/.315/.365 for the Queensland Rams. In a lower-homer league, his two homers tied five others for second, one behind Michael Moyle. He then returned to the US after a six-year absence and hit .294/.387/.401 for the Solano Steelheads, fielding .938 at the hot corner. He tied Heath Hayes for 8th in the Western Baseball League with 21 doubles and he was second with 15 times hit-by-pitch. He hit .259/.351/.310 for the 2000-2001 IBLA Internationals as they won the league's second and last title; that ended his career in his homeland.
Gorman played two more years for Solano. In 2001, he batted .288/.354/.411 with 15 HBP (tied for second, behind Chris Powell). He was 15 for 77 with 3 doubles and 8 walks in 2002 to end his career the year he turned 32.
Overall, he had batted .274 and slugged .430 in 430 games in the ABL and IBLA, with 223 runs, 250 RBI and 52 home runs. In the US, he had hit .279/.372/.385 with 117 runs, 98 RBI, 11 home runs and 87 walks in 235 games.
Primary Source: Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac