The 2014-15 ABL season proved to be a fruitful one for Brandon Dixon, who helped the Adelaide Bite to a Championship Series appearance while proving himself to be one of the best hitters in the league.
Brandon Dixon’s solid 2014 season in the Californian A (Advanced) League was hampered by an injury towards the end. As a result the LA Dodgers wanted to see more, so a move to Australia was put in motion.
Having only just celebrated his 23rd birthday, Dixon came to Australia in a flurry of decisions by the Dodgers, but there were no doubts.
“Honestly, I did really know this [move to Adelaide] was going to happen until the last second,” Dixon said.
“A couple of guys I played with actually played for the Bite last year so I’d heard good things about everyone I’d talked to, I was excited for it.”
Picked up in the third round of the 2013 MLB draft, Dixon knew there was interest in him but to be picked up by his home town team made everything even better.
“I grew up watching them all the time so it was cool to be a part of an organisation that was that historic and wanted to draft me,” he said.
“They had definitely shown interest in me but when there’s that many teams drafting you have no idea who’s going to take you.”
Dixon’s short career has already seen him play for the Great Lakes Loons in Michigan, North-East USA, and at Los Angeles based Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
The season here in Adelaide has been the shortest for him recently with 47 games, compared to 94 last year at the Quakes, but it has proven to be his best so far, although the success was never truly planned.
“It’s something going into every season; you have that goal of playing well and doing what you’re planning to do, and this season didn’t start off great but then I’ve slowly picked it up,” he said.
“It is what it is with baseball, you just gotta work hard and it’ll take you where it’ll take you.”
An added bonus for Dixon was arriving here with team mate Aaron Miller.
“I think competing against your team mates is the best thing you can have and I’ve been fortunate in the past having a lot of guys I can compete with who have pushed me to make me better by playing with them.
“Aaron had a phenomenal year and it’s always good to learn things and challenge yourself with that.”
Spring training is on the cards after a short break back home and the run into February will be an advantage compared to other prospects, and Dixon echoes the positive messages others have said about playing here.
“I would just say take advantage of it. This is a once in a life time opportunity, especially for guys in the States, you don’t have that opportunity to play around the world too often, so anyone who has the chance should take it.”
Personally he will take back the memories and experience, despite not winning the Championship while fans here will remember his name for some time.
“Any time you get to win a championship is special and getting to come to the beautiful country of Australia and getting to live here for four months is something special in itself,” he said.
“Getting to play with a group of guys like we have and getting to enjoy that is something I’ll remember for a while.
“We’ve had some great road trips, some really fun times here in Adelaide, and I think the championship will really be the sum of it all.”