On the 12th of October 1982, Dave Rusin stepped off the plane and onto Australian soil for the first time. With no idea what to expect, Rusin knew that baseball in Australia was on the rise and he wanted to be part of it. Part of the famed Oregon/WA connection, it was in the 1982/83 season that Rusin would get his first taste of WA baseball in a Braves uniform; a club he would remain at for a decade, finishing as the head coach of the State League team in the 1991/92 season.
Rusin’s quality was evident early on as he earned Best & Fairest honours in his first season playing in WA and then onto Claxton Shield duties from 1984, where he put in dominant performances. From State League to the Perth Heat, where Rusin was a member of the 1990/91 Perth Heat Championship Team, he had a stellar season on the mound finishing with a 3-1 record and a 1.80 ERA.
Rusin’s record in State League was outstanding. In his distinguished career, Rusin picked up six Presidents Medal’s along with batting titles and pitching awards. He also helped the Braves break their 12-year drought by being a key part of the 1986-87 Championship Team. Rusin was acknowledged as one of the greatest Braves players of all time when he was selected in their Best Team Ever.
Below is a sample of some of Dave's achievements:
State League Best & Fairest 1982/83, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1991/92, 1993/94, 1994/95
WA Claxton Shield/Perth Heat Player
Perth Heat Championship Player 1990/91
State League Championship Player 1986/87
“Always focused and positive. With his knowledge of the game you could always hear Dave talking and helping the younger players. He was a fierce competitor and carried himself around the field with composure. If someone asked me to define the words a sportsman or a gentleman, I would answer Dave Rusin.” Parris Mitchell - Baseball WA Hall of Fame Inductee 2021
“When I think of leadership on the baseball field, I think Dave Rusin. Dave had the unique ability to carry a team with both bat and ball and he fostered confidence in all those around him. He gave you a kick in the pants when you needed one but was also the first person to pick you up and pat you on the back when you deserved it.” Geoff Dyer
“Dave hit some of the most majestic home runs I’ve ever seen and I’ve been hit into the top deck of Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays stadiums.” Graeme Lloyd - Baseball Australia Hall of Fame Inductee 2005
Baseball Western Australia
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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".