Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Peter Moylan: A Great Australian Sports Story

If I told Australian sports fans that there was a test cricket player, who played cricket for Australia between 1996 and 1997, then disappeared until 2005 / 2006, returning reinvented and almost instantly a brilliant success, the story would be embraced by every newspaper in the country. There would also be television interviews, a few documentaries and a movie deal. All that might be dedicated to Australian marquee sports like cricket, Australian Rules Football and rugby league. Major League Baseball is played on a bigger stage than any domestic sporting competition in Australia, yet Australian baseball participation doesn't receive the same attention, as it is in the shadow of many other sports. Peter Moylan was a talented baseball player as a teenager, signing a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins, and playing within their farm system in 1996 and 1997. Moylan hadn't even turned 20-years old when professional baseball ceased to be his occupation. Like many baseball players, who find themselves contemplating life after the game, Moylan had to reconnect himself with normal life, finding a job as a pharmaceutical salesman in Australia, and as time went on having a family. During this time Moylan just played baseball for fun, but found himself representing Victoria in the Claxton Shield. Trouble with his throwing arm made pitching challenging, so he concentrated on hitting and playing some 1st base. Perhaps a flash of genius came over Moylan or a stubborn refusal to accept that his pitching days were over. So he reinvented his pitching delivery to sidearm or submarine style. Moylan quickly found himself on the Australian 2006 World Baseball Classic team. With a fastball clocked at 96 mph he struck out respected players Bobby Abreu and Magglio Ordonez, both of whom are noted for their formidable hitting at the Major League level in the US. But the quantum leap was far from over for Moylan, he was signed by the Atlanta Braves and he made his Major League debut on the 12th of April 2006. This was followed by a sensation 2007, with an ERA of 1.80 and a very reliable 2009 campaign. Moylan is highly regarded within the Braves pitching bullpen and his success is perhaps one of the most inspiring Australian baseball stories. Many people have suggested that Peter Moylan's story is one that I should aim to pen, and I have read on some publicly amendable Internet encyclopedia's that I have approached Moylan regarding such a project. I can confirm that the only contact I have had with Moylan was last year, when I sent him a copy of The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento. If the opportunity came up, I would be thrilled to pen Moylan's story, but as far as I'm concerned his life experiences and baseball endeavours continue to unfold, and I hope he has a decade of Major League pitching ahead of him. Perhaps once he has completed his baseball journey he might be interested in putting it all in a book. Until that day comes he will continue to proudly fly the Australian flag in Major League Baseball. To purchase a copy of my baseball themed books please refer to these links: Boomerang Baseball cheapest seller and The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento cheapest seller.