Most professional baseball players will spend their winters resting and training in their hometowns. Tulsa Drillers' shortstop Joey Wong took a slightly different approach by spending his offseason playing for the Australian Baseball League's Perth Heat. Wong represented the Tulsa Drillers and American professional baseball extremely well by making quality contributions both on and off the field.
Wong led the Perth Heat to their third Championship in four years, providing the game winning RBI and outstanding defense in the finale. Accordingly, Wong was named ABLCS MVP, going 4-9 in the championship series.
Wong also added quality play throughout the entire season, leading all shortstops in fielding percentage, while hitting .290 at the plate. In addition, he was named the MVP of the league's All-Star Game.
Off the field, Wong was happy to give back to the city that so graciously welcomed him by instructing in numerous youth baseball clinics. He told Dan Vaughn of PerthHeat.com.au, "I am just glad we could go out to those camps and give back to the community and help keep this tradition moving along."
Wong still intends to pursue his ultimate goal of reaching the majors, but insists that if he is playing winter ball again next season, it will definitely be in Perth. "I'm trying my hardest [to return]. It depends on what happens back home in the states, but if I am going to play winter ball next year I would not want to play anywhere but here."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.