Dutton excels in Australia
« Back
March 7, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – It’s two months before the Rockford RiverHawks start spring training, and Brad Dutton is already a .300 hitter.

The Australian infielder competed this winter in the Claxton Shield, his nation’s annual baseball championship. Dutton hit .310 with no home runs and nine RBI and stole a team-high four bases in the league for his home-state Queensland Rams.

“Most of the guys in the league were pro guys,” Dutton wrote in an email. Among them were several others with Frontier League ties – Chris Oxspring (Cook County) played for New South Wales and Victoria’s Mat Kent (Kalamazoo) was last year’s Most Outstanding Player.

Five Australian states are represented, and a provincial team completed the six-team field. Queensland went 8-4 in the East Division and was eliminated by New South Wales in a best-of-three tournament semifinal.

The event has been staged annually since 1934. This year’s tournament also doubled as the selection trials for this year’s Olympic team. Four years ago, the Aussies were a surprising silver medalist in Athens.

In addition, there is some hope that the international success of Australian baseball – about 90 natives play professionally somewhere in the world – may result in the revival of the professional Australian Baseball League, which folded after the 1999 season.

“The pro league might start in ’08, but there is a lot of red tape to get through,” Dutton wrote.

Opening Night is at 7:05 p.m. May 21, when the RiverHawks host River City. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 16th season this summer. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Most games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


 Search Archives
Search for:

Browse archives

©2006, Rockford RiverHawks. All rights reserved.