In February this year, I stood in this place to sing the praises of the Canberra Cavalry, who had won the Australian Baseball Championship and brought the Claxton Shield to Canberra for the very first time. At that point in time, I thought this was the pinnacle of baseball glory for Canberra—but I was wrong, because last night in Taiwan the Cavs stunned the baseball world to beat the UniPresident Lions 14-4 in the Asia Series final.
The Cavs have proven that they are not just the champions of Australia; they are the champions of Asia. It would be an impressive feat for any Australian baseball team to beat the multimillion dollar teams of Asia. But for the Cavs—who not so long ago were the 'wooden-spooners' of the Australian Baseball League; who have been described as a 'motley crew' of public servants, part-timers and minor league baseballers; who have a total payroll of just $47,000—this feat is nothing short of incredible.
As a lover of baseball and a lover of Canberra, I could not be any prouder today—and I have dressed in Canberra Cavalry orange to prove it.
Congratulations to coach Michael Collins and General Manager, Thom Carter, and, most importantly, the players. Canberra is a very proud city today, and I am sure the Narrabundah Fort will be packed out on Friday night to welcome the Cavs home.