LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Any time veteran relief pitcher Peter Moylan returns to Champion Stadium, it brings back great memories. After all, it's the site where his Major League career was born.
Moylan, a non-roster invitee with the Astros, put on a dazzling performance for Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic at Champion Stadium, striking out Bobby Abreu, Marco Scutaro, and Magglio Ordonez of Venezuela in his only appearance.
The next day, the Braves called and offered him a contract, and he wound up playing eight seasons in their organization. He made his Major League debut in April of that season.
"This is where it all began," Moylan said Friday from Champion Stadium. "This is where I pitched for Australia in the World Baseball Classic, and this is where I eventually threw a couple of spring games for the Braves."
Moylan was a pharmaceutical rep in Australia when he took paid vacation to come to the U.S. for the World Baseball Classic. It was going to be his baseball swan song, because he planned to retire, at the age of 27 years old, following the tournament.
"That was the outing that got me back over here," Moylan said. "Before that, I had no plans of even playing professionally again. It wasn't until I was approached by the Braves the next day and they said, 'Look, we want you to come and try out.' I did, and the rest is history."
Moylan said he went from staying in the Ritz-Carlton with the Australian team to the Homewood Suites with a roommate when he joined the Braves as a Minor Leaguer. It was a move he was happy to make.
"I have really good memories here, and good memories of the Braves," Moylan said.