Photo: SMP IMAGES/Baseball Australia

SYDNEY — Baseball Australia has appointed former big leaugue slugger David Nilsson as the new manager of the Australian Men’s National Baseball Team – the top team in the nation.

Nilsson is widely regarded as the best-ever MLB player that Australia has yet produced. He was the first Aussie to earn MLB All-Star honours (1999) and was a part of the Australian squad that earned a historic silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

“I’m humbled to be entrusted with the role, especially with one of the most important international competition periods right around the corner,” Nilsson said.

Baseball Australia CEO Cam Vale said: “David is an outstanding appointment to a critical period in our sport’s success, with the 2019 Premier12, 2020 Olympics and the 2021 World Baseball Classic all taking place over the next three years.”

In his previous three years managing the Brisbane Bandits, Nilsson led his club to three consecutive Australian Baseball League (ABL) Championships (2016, 2017, 2018), a feat that had never been previously achieved in Australian baseball.

The Australian National Team programme is the current No. 8 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.