LUKE HUGHES

Growing up in Perth, Western Australia Luke began playing tee-ball at a young age for the Morley Eagles, the same club where he played all of his junior baseball and the same club he still plays at today.

This year he was inducted into the Morley Eagles 60th Anniversary All- Star Team.

Where it all beganon April 28, 2010 after 7 years of professional baseball, Luke reached his ultimate dream a call up to the BIG LEAGUES.

In his first Major League at bat Luke lined up against Detroit Tigers future Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. On a 2-2 count Luke launched his first major league hit, a Home Run to right field.

“What a moment for Luke Hughes what a moment for Australia” running commentary by the famous Dick Bremwer. 

 

Luke signed with the Minnesota Twins in July 2002 at the age of 17 although his professional career started the following year. 

His playing career with the Twins spanned 9 years, during his time there he was named 3 times a Minor League All-Star, represented the Twins in the World Team at the Futures Game in New York and was awarded AA Eastern League MVP of the All-Star Game the following week.

 

In 2012, after the best part of 3 years in the Majors with the Twins, Luke found himself playing for the Oakland Athletics where he played alongside 2 other Australians, Grant Balfour and Richard Thompson. Unfortunately that didn’t go to plan for Luke and again he was on the move to the Toronto Blue Jays AAA affiliate where he found some late season success.

Luke’s last professional hit was a home run funnily enough.

Luke has spent the past 14 years on the Australian National Team, most recently playing this past March in his 4th appearance at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Tokyo, Japan.

"Playing in the green and gold, representing your country is what it is all about" Luke Hughes.

 

Unfortunately for Luke and his time on the Australian Team, one baseball accolade that is high on his list is to compete for Australia in the Olympics. Australia hasn’t been able to compete in the Olympics since 2004 but 2020 is definitely on his radar. 

 

Back home in Australia, from the age of 6 and his tee-ball days, fast forward to the age of 32 Luke is getting ready for his 17th year representing the Perth Heat organisation.

Over that time Perth Heat were able to form 'a dynasty' winning 6 Claxton Shields in 8 years. "Strong friendships have been forged and a culture created that will continue to grow with the next generation of Perth Heat talent.'' Luke Hughes.

Off-field in 2016 Luke was appointed the Baseball WA on-field High Performance Manager, to not only give back to the game but to ensure the culture he has been involved in creating over the last 2 decades continues through. 

In his first year, the WA under 18's were able to win the National Title and the WA under 16's finished 2nd and is hopeful with the young talent coming through that the future looks bright.

 

Luke's involvement in Australian Baseball hasn't just consisted of on-field he has also over the years been an Australian Junior Coach, Assistant Women's coach, MLBAAP coach and again this season he will be Perth Heats hitting coach.

 

Away from baseball Luke was the WACA fielding and throwing instructor in 2016/17 working closely with Justin Langer, Luke was able to help provide pivotal information on ways to help continue WACA success.  

 

His competitiveness nature and love for the game as a player has given him the passion to want to continue his involvement and growth of baseball within Perth and Australia.

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©2017 By Jenna Basse for Sixteen | 23