Aussies Huber, Harman reunite in Philly
Pair of Major Leaguers played for same club team in Australia
PHILADELPHIA -- The Upwey Ferntree Gully Tigers have been represented this week, as San Diego outfielder Justin Huber and Philadelphia infielder Brad Harman both hail from the same club team in Australia.
Huber and Harman, who both also have national team experience in Australia, saw each other prior to Tuesday's game at Citizens Bank Park. It was the first time they have seen each other since the offseason, as both reside in Melbourne, Australia.
"He's actually a pretty good friend of mine," Huber, 25, said of Harman, who was recalled to add infield depth after Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins went on the disabled list earlier in April.
"He's a few years younger than me. We cross paths a few times in the offseason."
That two players from the same club team in Australia were in the same Major League ballpark amazed Huber.
"It's one of the smaller clubs down there, but it's had some good players," Huber said. Out of such a small club and such a small baseball country, that we have had three Major Leaguers is pretty hard to explain."
The third member of the Upwey Ferntree Gully team to pitch in the Major Leagues was pitcher Michael Nakamura, who played briefly for the Twins in 2003 and Blue Jays in '04.
Nakamura currently pitches for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, a team with whom the Padres have a working relationship.
Huber said that baseball doesn't have the foothold in Australia it did a decade ago, as the Australian Baseball League folded in 1999 after 11 years of operation.
"It seems the sports is regressing some since the national league folded in 1999," Huber said. "We're really hoping a new league can get started. That's why drew me to the sport. When I got into it, the national league was at its highest peak. It was starting to rival basketball and soccer and popularity."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.