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Thread: Cricketers convert into baseball players

  1. #31
    International 12th Man JBMAC's Avatar
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    Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Paul Sheehan, Ian Redpath all played top level baseball in Australia. When Bradman's side toured th USA, he and Babe Ruth I believe had a batting match with Bradman the better exponent
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    Ruth is supposed to have told Bradman: "I'll try this cricket business. Maybe it's my game." Ruth did, eventually. He came to England in the winter of 1935, and played a little cricket when he was in London. He struggled while he was taking an orthodox guard, so he switched back to his baseball stance and started walloping some net-bowlers to all parts. "Sure I could smack the ball alright," he told the press afterwards. "How could I help it when you have a great wide board to swing?" All the same the game, Ruth decided, wasn't for him, just because "they tell me $40 a week is top pay for cricket".

    As for Bradman, he never did play ball. A few of his team-mates did, though, back in the days when it was a winter sport in Australia. Neil Harvey played Grade A baseball, as did, later on, Norm O'Neill, Bill Lawry, and all three Chappell brothers. In Australia there has been at least a little cross-pollination between the two sports. That hasn't been possible in England, though some have dabbled. Ian Pont had a trial with the Philadelphia Phillies back in 1987. "I am doing it purely for the money," he said at the time. He didn't make much. Ed Smith wrote an entire book, Playing Hard Ball, about his try-outs with the New York Mets during their pre-season training in 2001.
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