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All-Korean team to join Australian Baseball League

2018/05/18 11:02

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SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- A team made up entirely of South Korean players will join the Australian Baseball League (ABL), a Seoul-based sports marketing firm announced Friday.

Happy Rising said the all-Korean team will begin playing in the ABL as the eighth club beginning in the 2018-2019 season, and that the squad will be based in the city of Geelong, 75 kilometers southwest of Melbourne. Happy Rising, which will handle the team's marketing and promotions here, said it will be South Korea's first professional baseball team in an overseas league.

This file photo from Nov. 9, 2012, shows members of the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) celebrate a run against the Yomiuri Giants during their Asia Series game at Sajik Stadium in Bsuan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. An All-Korean team will join the ABL in the 2018-2019 season, local sports marketing firm Happy Rising said on May 18, 2018. (Yonhap) This file photo from Nov. 9, 2012, shows members of the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) celebrate a run against the Yomiuri Giants during their Asia Series game at Sajik Stadium in Bsuan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. An All-Korean team will join the ABL in the 2018-2019 season, local sports marketing firm Happy Rising said on May 18, 2018. (Yonhap)

ABL CEO Cam Vale will attend the ceremony in Seoul announcing the launching of the club next Monday, the company said.

The ABL currently has clubs in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

According to Happy Rising, players will be selected through open tryouts, and players released by or retired from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) clubs will also have a chance to play. Former Hanwha Eagles outfielder Kim Kyeong-eon, released by the KBO team after last season, has already committed to play for the new ABL club. The 35-year-old batted .271 with 55 homers and 393 RBIs in 1,183 KBO games.

"There will be about 30 members on the team, including the coaching staff," Happy Rising said. "The roster will be finalized by September and the team will begin training in Australia in October."

   A typical ABL season runs from November to February. Former KBO players such as Koo Dae-sung and Lee Hei-chun have played in the Australian league.

In this file photo from June 16, 2017, Kim Kyeong-eon of the Hanwha Eagles rounds the bases after a three-run home run against the KT Wiz in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. Kim will join an all-Korean team in the Australian Baseball League starting in the 2018-2019 season, local sports marketing firm Happy Rising said on May 18, 2018. (Yonhap) In this file photo from June 16, 2017, Kim Kyeong-eon of the Hanwha Eagles rounds the bases after a three-run home run against the KT Wiz in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, 45 kilometers south of Seoul. Kim will join an all-Korean team in the Australian Baseball League starting in the 2018-2019 season, local sports marketing firm Happy Rising said on May 18, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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