Hall of fame honour for Como’s Ma­jor Lea­guer

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - FRONT PAGE -

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL pitcher Mark Et­tles found his love for base­ball as an eightyear-old play­ing for South Perth be­fore rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia and play­ing in the Ma­jor League.

The Como res­i­dent rep­re­sented the coun­try as a teenager be­fore se­cur­ing a schol­ar­ship to play in the United States to kick-start his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer.

That schol­ar­ship led Et­tles to be­come the fifth Aus­tralian to ever play at Ma­jor League level.

Now re­tired and the owner of a lo­cal fresh fish busi­ness, Et­tles has been ac­knowl­edged for his con­tri­bu­tion to the sport and in­ducted into the Aus­tralian Base­ball Hall of Fame.

The WA Mar­ket Fresh Fish owner said the ac­co­lade was the “cream of his play­ing ca­reer” to be recog­nised by his peers as hav­ing played “well enough” and mak­ing an im­pact.

Et­tles fondly re­mem­bered start­ing his base­ball ca­reer as a young boy play­ing at Col­lier Park when the old tip was where the Col­lier Park Golf Club now is.

“I re­mem­ber prac­tis­ing and play­ing at this early age and just loved the game for its com­plex­ity of skills,” he said.

“I had lo­cal he­roes like Ray Michell, Don Kyle, Gary Scarter­field and Tony Goadby to look up to.

“Then came the Amer­i­can in­flu­ence with play­ers like Don Knapp, Bob Ossey and Scott Steed that ar­rived in Perth to bring their knowl­edge and in­flu­ence of how the game was played in Amer­ica.

“This piqued my in­ter­ests in Amer­i­can base­ball and what it would take to get over there.”

At 17, Et­tles played for Aus­tralia and trained in Cal­i­for­nia for the Ju­nior World Se­ries be­fore mov­ing to the US with a schol­ar­ship for the Univer­sity of South Alabama.

He went on to play for the Univer­sity of West Flor­ida be­fore sign­ing with the Detroit Tigers and mov­ing to the San Diego Padres in the Ma­jor League.

Af­ter a stint with the Tai­wan Ma­jor League, Et­tles was cho­sen to play for Aus­tralia once again, this time as part of the Syd­ney Olympic Games team.

He re­tired af­ter the 2000 Games to pur­sue other pas­sions and be­came a com­mer­cial fish­er­man be­fore gain­ing his cap­tains ticket, which took him over­seas “serv­ing Europe’s rich and fa­mous” as a skip­per.

Now hav­ing re­turned to South Perth with his wife and two chil­dren, Et­tles is pitch­ing his lat­est ca­reer move: run­ning WA Mar­ket Fresh Fish out of a pur­pose­built van at Ge­orge Bur­nett Leisure Cen­tre, Karawara.

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486487 Pic­ture: David Baylis

Mark Et­tles is thrilled with an ac­co­lade that re­flects the es­teem he is held in by his base­ball peers.

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