Greg Jelks Born August 16 1961 - Died 6 January 2017
Greg Jelks’s impact on baseball in Western Australia can never put into words. Considered to be the greatest import to ever play in the West, Jelks was iconic in Perth in the 1990’s and a driving force in the growth of baseball throughout Western Australia.
Prior to hitting our shores, Jelks had an incredible professional career. Jelks was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981 making his minor league debut the following summer in the Northwest League. Jelks rose through the Philadelphia ranks to eventually make his Major League debut for the Philadelphia Phillies on August 20th 1987, playing 3rd base in a 10-2 Phillies win over the San Diego Padres at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
In 1993 Jelks first appeared for the Perth Heat, where immediately he became an iconic figure. His booming bat and class were admired by all who played against him, with him or watched him from the stands. Jelks represented the Perth Heat & WA in the Claxton shield in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1998, 2000 & 2001.
Locally, Jelks was an enormous presence for the Melville Braves, South Perth Cubs, Morley Eagles and Carine Cats as both a player and a manger.
Fortunately for Australian baseball, Jelks decided early in his career to call Australia home, earning dual citizenship and with that, an elevation to national team baseball duties. From 1997 – 2000 Jelks represented Australia in the Intercontinental Cup and was an assistant coach for the 2000 Australian Olympic Team.
Once Jelks hung up his cleats, the top step was called his name. His managerial journey included assistant coach for Team Australia, Catskill Cougars (Northern League West Independent League, USA), Duluth Superior Dukes (North League Central, Independent League, USA).
From assistant, Jelks evolved into a first class manager for the Evansville Otters (Frontier League, USA), WA State U/18 Team, Slippery Rock Sliders (Frontier League, USA), Washington Wild Things (Independent League, USA) and Carine Baseball Club from 2015-2017.
Below is a sample of some of Greg's achievements:
Claxton Shield Champion 1997 & 2000
Team Australia Player & Assistant Coach
Major League Baseball Player: Philadelphia Phillies
Team Australia Assistant Coach Gold Medal Winning 1999 Intercontinental Baseball Cup
MVP Perth Heat 1993 & 1998
WA Sports Star of the Year Nominee 1993 & 1997
ABL All-Star Team 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 & 1998
World All-Stars Team 1997
Perth Heat Batting Title 1993, 1994, 1997 & 1998
“It was obvious his baseball ability was unlike anything we had seen before. Greg adopted Australia as his second home and became part of the baseball family. He went onto represent Australia many times. As dominant as he was on the field, one of his major strengths was the impact he had through coaching at many levels, and his continued promotion of baseball. Greg was loved by many.” Tony Adamson – Baseball Australia Hall of Fame Inductee 2005
“Just saying that name sends shivers down pitchers and third basemen spines everywhere! Greg was a baseball player, the most feared hitter in the league swinging the black magic. Great teammate, better friend, always had your back.” Graeme Lloyd – Baseball Australia Hall of Fame Inductee 2005
“The most influential baseball player or person I ever played with or against, you walked taller as a teammate of GJ. He would tap the plate and stare you down and then make a pitcher pay. He would always leave the top two buttons undone on his jersey that only added to the aura of the man. The ultimate teammate and competitor that would put the fear of death in any pitcher and opposition player just by his presence, opposing teams would come out of the clubhouse just to watch his batting practice. A massive loss to the game in Perth and Australia.” Jason Hewitt - Baseball WA Hall of Fame Inductee 2021
“The most feared hitter in Australian baseball history swinging a 35inch aluminium bat that not only worried pitchers, scared the hell out of some 3rd basemen along the way. He was the spark in the team, he knew how to fire up the dugout and lead by example. Off the field was the same, an electric person that was loved by all and he would always go out of his way to spend time with people in need. The late great man will never be forgotten for either on or off the diamond!” Shane Tonkin - Baseball WA Hall of Fame Inductee 2021
Baseball Western Australia
Baseball Park Corner Nicholson and Wilfred Roads, Thornlie WA 6108 PO Box 1489, Canning Vale DC WA 6970 Phone: 1300 557 353 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Australian Baseball Federation is the peak representative body for baseball in Australia. The Australian Baseball Federation has national and international regulatory and co-ordination responsibilities. In performing those functions the Australian Baseball Federation uses the descriptor: "Baseball Australia".