Baseball Australia today announced Baseball Australia and Australian Baseball League (ABL) chief executive Cam Vale has tendered his resignation after four years in the roles.

Vale communicated the decision to Baseball Australia chairman David Hynes last week, which was confirmed by the Board today and communicated to stakeholders and staff.

Vale commenced in March 2017 after previous senior roles as CEO Hockey Australia chief executive and North Melbourne Football Club chief operating officer, with a brief to tackle a range of key strategic challenges, including the ABL and improved engagement with major Asian professional leagues.

David Hynes commented:

“I want to thank Cam on behalf of all stakeholders for the last four years in his tenure as CEO. Baseball in Australia has significantly improved under his leadership, particularly the Australian Baseball League that has gone from strength to strength.”

“Cam’s tireless work ethic and strong leadership have left the sport in great shape. While disappointed to see Cam leave, the Board is understanding and supportive of his decision.” Cam Vale commented:

“This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my career – a job I love, staff and stakeholders I love to work with and for, and a sport I have truly grown to love from grassroots to the high performance.”

“I reached this decision on the basis that I think it is the right time for me to take a career pause and have an extended break after a non-stop 20-year career in sports administration alongside the challenges of the last 12 months with COVID impacting our sport.”

“The sport of Baseball in Australia will continue to grow and succeed under a new CEO, backed by a great Board of Directors led by President David Hynes, a hard-working staff and stakeholders that are investing time, money and energy into this great sport.”

When asked to comment on the highlights in his four-year tenure, Vale cited:

“The privatisation of the ABL teams and the expansion teams of Auckland Tuatara and Geelong-Korea is a career highlight and something that is an example of the success and importance of the ABL – it is so critical for Baseball in Australia, now and into the future.”

“Continued increased engagement with our key international stakeholders – NPB, KBO, CPBL, Little League International alongside the WBSC and of course MLB – great opportunities remain with our international partnerships.”

“Growth into regional areas such as Geelong and Lismore through the ABL, National Championships and Little League is also an area that Baseball will continue to grow and expand on.”

“Our broadcasting reach – in the last two years the ABL has been on major broadcast platforms in Korea (MBC), NZ (Sky Sport) and the USA (NBC Regional Networks) alongside our growing partnership with Kayo and Fox Sports in Australia.”

“And finally, the future of our national team and national pathways under David Nilsson and Michael Crooks has us set up for a long term and sustainable success.”

On what is next, Vale stated time with family, and a significant period of reflection and rest before considering the next opportunity.

David Hynes said the process to replace Vale would be considered quickly by the Board and a formal recruitment process would commence in due course.

Vale will continue with Baseball Australia until the 1st April 2021.

Key achievements under Vale

  • Introduction of private investment into the six original ABL clubs.
  • Expansion of the ABL through Auckland Tuatara and Geelong-Korea.
  • $7m Albert Park, Lismore Facility upgrade.
  • Strategic stakeholder improvement with NPB, KBO, CPBL, WBSC, Little League International and MLB.
  • Spring training camps including Team Australia vs Doosan Bears in Geelong.
  • Broadcasting domestic and international partnerships with Foxtel and Kayo, MBC (Korea), Eleven Sports (Taiwan), Sky Sport (NZ) and various USA broadcast partnerships for 2020/21.
  • Appointment of David Nilsson as National Manager, Premier 12 top six finish and increased AIS support directly to the national athletes.
  • ABL games to regional locations – Wollongong, Geelong, Lismore, and Mount Gambier.
  • Introduction of Baseball5 into Sporting Schools across Australia.
  • Commencement towards a professional women’s league in Australia through the upcoming Australian Women’s Baseball Showcase and A League of Her Own.
  • Return to profit in 2019/20 through significant organisation restructuring and relocation of head offices to Melbourne.
  • Management of BA and the ABL through COVID.