There are currently three Australians active in the U.S. Major League Baseball ranks, but it is unlikely that any has more dedicated fans than Detroit Tigers pitcher Wawrick Saupold.
When Saupold made his Major League debut against the Baltimore Orioles on May 14, his mum Deanna and girlfriend Georgia hopped on a plane from Perth to Sydney to Los Angeles to Baltimore and went straight to Camden Yards to see Saupold pitch.
In his relief role, he got another chance the following day, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings during the Tigers’ 6 – 5 victory, where he was given credit for the win.
Saupold was representing Australia in February, and had stints in the minor leagues in 2014 and 2015 where his ERA was above 4.0, but he made good on his chance with the AAA Mud Hens of Toledo, Ohio. There, he managed a respectable 2.37 ERA and was called up to the big club. He threw five innings and combined with Preston Guilmet, Logan Kensing and Bobby Parnell to post the first Mud Hens’ no-hitter in 20 years. Saupold allowed only one baserunner in his start and threw 41 strikes from 58 pitches.
He has had to take some knocks in the bigs, and he is currently on a rehab assignment.