Tag Archives: Dodgers

Aussie in America (Part Three) – Ben Lodge

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(Photo by Ryan Schembri – SMP Images / ABL Media)

Luke Wilkins isn’t the only Aussie in the Frontier League this season.  Recently the Frontier Greys, the league’s travel team, played in Washington, PA where I was able to catch up with Grey’s outfielder Ben Lodge.

Lodge, who is 23 years old, is a native of Adelaide, Australia where he has been playing with the Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) since 2011.  Unlike Wilkins, Lodge did not play college baseball in America and was the only Bite player with no college or professional playing experience outside of Australia.

However, the lack of experience didn’t stop Lodge from being named Rookie of the Year for the 2012/2013 ABL season.

After winning the Rookie of the Year award, Lodge was then invited to play on Team Australia in Sydney for the MLB Opening Series with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.  In 2014, he was once again chosen to represent Australia on the world stage.  This time he played in the 21/U Baseball World Cup held in Taiwan.

Lodge finished the 2014/2015 ABL season batting .247 in 42 games with career highs in home runs (6) and RBIs (26) all while having a perfect fielding percentage in the outfield.

In February, the Frontier Greys signed Lodge to play professional baseball here in America.

In 30 games so far this season with the Greys, Lodge is batting .224 with 6 doubles and 3 RBIs.

As with our other Aussie in America posts, you may comment or send in any questions you have for our next Q & A segment with Lodge.

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Cause I Play Indy Ball – The New Hit Single By Tycen PoVey?

Indy ball life can be rough for players.  It is not only physically exhausting, but it can be mentally exhausting and frustrating as well.

Sometimes, all a player can do is look back on that part of his career and laugh about the experiences that he had. That’s exactly what former indy ball player, Tycen PoVey, is doing with the help of some funny, but truthful lyrics and his old guitar.

PoVey put together a nice college career that led him to be signed as a free agent by the Dodgers in 2007, but he was released after the season ended.

“Baseball has always been good to me. I was fortunate enough to play it for a long time. I followed my dream out of high school into college and was able to play well enough to get to the professional level. After some injuries, I soon found myself trying to get into indy ball.”

PoVey spent four up and down seasons in indy ball with the Evansville Otters and Traverse City Beach Bums (Frontier League) and the Lincoln Saltdogs (American Association.)

“Even when I got another shot in indy ball, I was injured again and again. I was forced to change positions: from catching, to the outfield and back. Then, I finally found myself on the mound and ended up pitching for a couple seasons. That was soon ended by, you guessed it, another injury and my 8th surgery overall.

“During that time I found out a lot about myself and made a ton of friends in the process, most of whom I still stay in touch with today. We all like to joke about indy ball, but the fact is, I wouldn’t have traded anything I went through.  With a mix of a lot of traveling, amazing fans, and having different cultures and personalities all together in a small clubhouse, I was bound to come out with some stories.”

He has been out of baseball for over two years now and wanted to create a humorous way to remember his time there while helping current independent players laugh a little about their situation.

Used to racking up hits on the field, PoVey is now trying to create some musically on his YouTube page as well.The first song he posted, “Indy Ball”, was a general view on living the indy ball lifestyle.

“I like to goof around on the guitar. I’m not great, but I’ve always liked to write songs to make people laugh.

“When I wrote ‘Indy Ball’, I just tried to take experiences from each place I played that every player could relate to – from peanut butter spreads to bad clubbies and wondering what we are doing here.  We have all had similar experiences. After playing both songs to some close friends and family, they begged me to put it online to show their friends.”

*Warning* lyrics and content may not be suitable for children.

His second song features a well known (and often joked about) topic in the indy ball world, Slumpbusters – the “larger” girls who help players out of their slumps.

“When I wrote ‘The Slumpbuster Song’ it was actually after an amazing weekend I had. The details of that weekend are locked away in a vault, but I will just say that one day I was 0-8 in a double header. Then the rest of the weekend, I went 10-12 with 3 home runs and 6 doubles (laughs). She deserved a ballad.”

*Warning* lyrics and content may not be suitable for children.

“After hearing the song and my stories, some people thought I was crazy.  Getting paid 800 dollars a month, living out of a suitcase and traveling the country in a bus that seemed to only break down in the most remote places… They wondered why I did it.

“But honestly, I’m very thankful for having coaches that believed in me enough to let me play as long as I did. I’m also very thankful for my experiences and the friends that I made.  Indy ball is amazing. A lot of talent is found in indy ball, and I got to see future big league talent and even play against former big league players. It was a great experience that I’ll always cherish.

“I hope my songs make those who have been there or are there smile. And for those who haven’t played, I hope it gives them a little insight of the funny things that we have to deal with.

“I hope everyone enjoys it! There should be more to come. And I’m sorry if those from Sioux City take my words to heart. Hey, at least you’re not Amarillo (laughs).”

You can subscribe to Tycen’s YouTube channel to hear more songs as they are released: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrW_PBNJwJwbC2Ks5vC6Bsw