The Australian Baseball League, Baseball Australia and the Brisbane Bandits are saddened learn of the passing of former Bandit and longtime Queensland baseballer Trent Baker.
“Our thoughts are with Trent’s family and friends, and the entire baseball community at this time,” ABL General Manager Ben Foster said. “Trent personified what it means to be part of the very close-knit fraternity and he influenced almost all levels of the sport in Australia. He was a loyal club member and teammate, he was involved in the national Academy program, signed professional contracts with two different Major League organisations, was an integral member of the Brisbane Bandits, and had the honour of representing his country.”
“More than that, having known Trent personally for more than 10 years, he was an amazing young man, and we will miss him immensely,” Foster added.
Baseball Australia CEO Brett Pickett also extended his condolences to Trent’s family. “Trent’s family and close friends, in particular, are in our thoughts,” said Pickett. “The entire Baseball family is saddened by the news of Trent’s passing; he was a great competitor and he will be greatly missed,” added Pickett.
“Trent loved everybody and everybody loved Trent,” Bandits CEO Mark Ready said. “Our franchise is a very tight-knit unit and we’re devastated by the loss of Trent Baker. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.”
Baker, who passed away at the age of 25, rose through the Queensland amateur ranks as a talented two-way player. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 2007 as an outfielder out of the MLB Australian Academy Program on the Gold Coast, and made his professional debut two years later with the AZL Indians. The same year he debuted professionally, Baker also made his Claxton Shield debut for the Queensland Rams. A rising star in Australian baseball scene, Baker also represented his country in Osaka, Japan for the 2009 Friendship Games in the lead-up to the World Baseball Classic.
He returned to the USA for the 2010 Minor League season, and spent time at four different levels that year, reaching as high as Double-A. The Indians released him after the end of the season, and he finished his Minor league career with a .200 batting average and 25 RBIs in 111 games. He signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2011, but was released in January of the following year.
A Brisbane native, Baker joined his hometown Bandits for the ABL’s inaugural 2010/11 campaign as an outfielder, and later saw time on the mound for the Bandits in parts of three seasons. He pitched for Brisbane in the most recently 2015/16, appearing in 11 games and helping the Bandits win Queensland’s first Claxton Shield title since 2006.
At this time, we ask all members of the Australian baseball community to join us in offering both their condolences and respect for Trent’s family’s privacy.
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