The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat were founded in 1989 as one of the Australian Baseball League’s foundation teams and have gone on to become one of the country’s most successful sporting clubs.
The Heat’s place in Australian baseball history was secured when they played in the very first ABL game on October 27, 1989, going down 8-5 to the Adelaide Giants at Parry Field, but their name has been synonymous with success having won a record 15 Claxton Shields, including 6 as the ABL champions.
The first of these ABL titles came in 1990-91 when the Heat defeated the Daikyo Dolphins in five games thanks to inspired performances from Mike Young, Pat Leinen and championship series MVP Graeme Lloyd.
The Heat would make three of the next four championship series, losing all three – 1991-92 to Daikyo (3-1), 1992-92 to the Melbourne Monarchs (2-0) and 1994-95 to the Waverley Reds (2-0), but tasted success again in 1996-97 with a 2-1 championship series win over the Brisbane Bandits for their second ABL championship.
A decade later, the Perth Heat embarked on an area of unprecedented success winning 6 of 8 National Championships.
The Heat came from a game down in the championship series against Adelaide to secure their third ABL crown in the 2010-11 competition, and claimed back-to-back successes with a 2-1 series victory over the Melbourne Aces in the 2011-12 decider.
A championship loss to Canberra Cavalry in 2012-13 was avenged in the 2013-14 season when the Heat put the icing on another dominant season with their third ABL crown from the first four seasons of the re-born competition, as a golden crop of homegrown stars including Tim Kennelly, Luke Hughes, Allan de San Miguel, Scott Mitchinson, Warwick Saupold and Daniel Schmidt emerged.
At the Championship presentation at Barbagallo Ballpark in 2014, the League’s Chief Executive publicly announced the modern Perth Heat as a ‘true sporting dynasty’.
The Heat went back-to-back for the second time in the new ABL with their sixth ABL crown in 2014-15, finishing the season strong and overcoming a deficit to defeat the Adelaide Bite 2-1 in the championship series.
In August 2018, a private consortium led by WA businessmen Rory Vassallo, broadcaster Christian Galopoulos and America’s Cup winner Eileen ‘Red’ Bond became the new owners of the Heat, leading the team into a new period of professionalism on and off the diamond.
Off the field the Heat have had successful partnerships with MLB clubs the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Rays, resulting in those clubs sending a number of talented young prospects to Australia each season.
As well as winning championships, Western Australia and the Perth Heat also have a celebrated and decorated history of developing elite talents and producing and nurturing players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball.
PERTH HEAT AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS
Helms Award Winners (MVP): Scott Metcalf (1995); Clinton Balgera (2008); Nick Kimpton (2009); Tim Kennelly (2012, 2019); Jake Fraley (2018)
Championship Series MVP: Graeme Lloyd (1991); Clayton Byrne (1997); Virgil Vasquez (2012); Joey Wong (2014); Allan de San Miguel (2015)
Hitting Champion: Tim Kennelly (2019)
Pitching Champion: Pat Leinen (1991); Pat Ahearne (1999); Warwick Saupold (2012); Mike Ekstrom (2014); Dylan Unsworth (2020)
Reliever of the Year: Ben Grice (2012); Cameron Lamb (2018)
Golden Glove/Defensive Player of the Year: Allan de San Miguel (2012, 2013, 2016); Joey Wong (2014, 2015)
Rookie of the Year: Scott Metcalf (1992); Robbie Wells (1997); Clinton Balgera (1999); Jess Williams (2018); Robbie Glendinning (2019)
ABL All-Star/Team of the Year Representatives
1990: Tony Adamson
1991: T.R Lewis, Tim Holland, Pat Leinen
1992: Michael Moyle, Shaun Hrabar, Damon Buford, Melvin Wearing, Mark Ettles
1993: Tony Adamson, Tim Holland, Greg Jelks, John Moore
1994: Greg Jelks, Curtis Goodwin, Tony Adamson
1995: Scott Metcalf, Kimera Bartee
1996: Jason Hewitt, Scott Metcalf
1997: Clayton Byrne, Greg Jelks
1998: Gabe Molina
1999: Pat Ahearne
2011: Pat Widlansky, Luke Hughes
2012: Allan de San Miguel, Tim Kennelly, Warwick Saupold, Ben Grice
2013: Corey Adamson, Mike Ohlman
2014: Joey Wong, Brandon Tripp, George Barber, Corey Adamson, Mike Ekstrom
2015: Matt Kennelly, Luke Hughes, Joey Wong, Mike McClendon, Jorge Marban
2016: Allan de San Miguel
2017: Allan de San Miguel, Tim Kennelly
2018: Tim Kennelly, Jake Fraley
2019: Robbie Glendinning, Tim Kennelly
2020: Jordan Qsar, Pete Kozma, Robbie Glendinning, Dylan Unsworth
2021: Grant Witherspoon, Tim Kennelly
1989: Perth Heat’s inaugural roster
2012: Claxton Shield Champions