Did you remember Baseball being at the Olympics? Or that the Australian Baseball Team won a Silver medal no less. Well it was and they did in 2004 in Athens.
Baseball doesn’t feature at the Rio 2016 games, and most are probably thankful given the way the games are going at this point. One could argue it has more merit being there than Rugby Sevens, Tennis and Golf. Or maybe not.
A shame that the current Australian Baseball Team can’t win another medal at this year’s games, but it is time to celebrate the team who did in 2004.
Our first team entry into the Forgotten Olympic Crap Fantale Hall of Fame.
The 2004 Australian Baseball Team are a classic Forgotten Olympic Crap Fantale, barely remembered, perhaps even totally forgotten, but it does include the one name that a casual follower of Australian Baseball might recognise.
That name you know is Dave Nilsson. A man who played in the Major League for 8 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. Not only that he coached the Queensland Rams to the Claxton Shield. Also was in charge when the Brisbane Bandits won the reinstated Australian Baseball League.
He is not the only name of substance from that Silver winning team.
Graeme Lloyd was a pitcher who played in the Major League for 11 seasons, managing to play with some of the big names. New York Yankees and Mets just to name a few. He also has come back to coach in the Australian Baseball League.
A full list of the Silver Winning Australian Baseball Team at the end. Many of them played Major League themselves. All are Forgotten Olympians.
Back to the actual 2004 Olympic Tournament.
Just eight teams qualified for the 2004 Olympics, and unbelievably, the USA was not one of them. They failed to get past Mexico who failed to get past Canada.
All eight teams played each other in the first round, and despite losses to Baseball powerhouses Cuba, and Chinese Taipei and Canada finished 4th of the eight teams. They crushed Italy and the Netherlands.
That set up a semi final against Japan, which ended up in Australia’s favour with the soccer friendly score line of 1-0.
The Australian Baseball team then met Cuba in the final. That ended in a 6-2 loss and a silver medal. And a entry into the Forgotten Olympians Crap Fantale Hall of Fame.
Some help from the great Wikipedia for the information.
|Rodney Van Buizen|