Last week, we brought you team Canada’s Mark Hardy for a look at his experience at the World Baseball Classic. This week, 21 year old Corey Adamson shares his experience playing for team Australia.
Adamson has been in the Padres organization since he was 17. He split time at Eugene and Fort Wayne this past year and in the off-season played 35 games for the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League. He helped the Heat earn a playoff spot, batting .321/.414/.448 and carried that over to the WBC with two hits in three pinch-hit at bats.
Lee Bosch: When did you get the call from team Australia?
Corey Adamson: I got the call from the team Australia manager “John Deeble” about half an hour before practice for my off-season Club. As soon as he called I was extremely excited and called my girlfriend and family to tell them the news. When I got to practice all I wanted to do was talk about it but didn’t want to seem like a little kid bragging to his mates!
LB: Did you bring any family? Did you know anyone on the team before you joined?
CA: My girlfriend Megan and my father Tony and his best mate Trevor all came over which was great being able to have them there! I did know quite a few of the guys on the team, 6 other guys were from Perth (my home town) and I had played with most of the others in the ABL all star game.
LB: Was the WBC the biggest stage you’ve played ball in?
CA: The WBC was by far the biggest stage I have played on! Prior to that, the most fans I played in front of was 9,000 with the TinCaps. The most I played in front of during the classic was 46,000 so it was a huge jump up!
LB: What emotions did you feel Game 1, being on the field and hearing the Australian National Anthem?
CA: Standing on the field before game one was an unreal experience! I looked around and just took in the whole experience! I was so excited and honored to be where I was. When the anthem came on it was so amazing! I felt truly proud to be an Aussie and a baseball player.
LB: What went through your head when you got called up for your first at bat? What was your approach to the AB?
CA: I was fortunate enough to get my first at bat in game one against Chien Ming Wang, a legend of the game. I was nervous and excited! My plan when I came in was to get on base any way I could so I noticed where the 3rd baseman was playing and put down one of the best bunts of my life for a base hit. Seeing how excited all my teammates were for me was so special!
LB: Australia didn’t have the results it probably wanted in the tournament but you had a nice 2 for 3 showing. How do you feel about your performance and what do you take away from the experience?
CA: It was upsetting we didn’t get a win but we did our best so that’s fine with me. I went over as the youngest on the team so I treated each of my 3 at bats as something extremely special and getting hits in 2 of them made it that much sweeter.
LB: How important is the WBC to baseball?
CA: The WBC is massive for baseball. It is something for players to strive for and an honor to play in. I believe the most important part is showing the world that quality baseball is played at every corner of the globe and its not just Americas past time.
LB: How was Taiwan and what was the most interesting thing you ate or saw?
CA: Taiwan was great. The hotel was amazing and the people were extremely nice and helpful. My favorite experience was definitely going to the night markets and seeing the true culture of tTaiwan from the black eggs and chicken feet to the fashion and shopping.
LB: Did anyone from the Padres organization comment about your performance?
CB: All the coaches who I have played for on the Padres followed how I went in the Classic and were all very quick to say well done and a lot of them watched me on TV as well so that was kind of surreal.
For every critic of the WBC remember this: Adamson just played at the biggest stage he will ever play on if he never makes the big league club. A lot of players did that. Guys go out there to win and play hard because for some, its the closest they will ever get to being on a big stage. Just because the best of the best aren’t going out there wearing their countries colors, doesn’t mean there isn’t good, hard baseball being played.