Baseball Reflections

Andrew ‘Soupy’ Campbell, Just What the Bandits Ordered

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During the summer, your typical 19-year-old Australian male is doing everything but hard work.

Luckily for the Brisbane Bandits, Andrew ‘Soupy’ Campbell isn’t your stock-standard teenager, who has been busy slugging away, laying the foundations for a career in baseball.


Just a few months older than catcher Ryan Battaglia and pitcher Josh Warner, Campbell is one of the youngest Bandits.  You could never tell – currently leading the team with a .395 on base percentage, the Ipswich talent is certainly holding his own amongst the big boys.


Campbell has worn number 17 across the world, played club ball for 13 years, studied at the Australian Baseball Academy and since 2009, been in the Cleveland Indians Organization.  Now he is in the Australian Baseball League as a proud Bandit, all before hitting the big 2-0 next month.


Early success can be kryptonite to a young man’s ego, but not Campbell’s, who will be the first to tell you he “sucks” at golf, even though he likes having a go and he’s happy just being wherever his friends are.  His first club, the Ipswich Musketeers, which he still plays for and “always will” is a lifelong connection, just because its “good fun, all my best mates are there”.


Raised on tales of the old ABL, it’s no wonder Campbell developed in to a ‘child prodigy’ “My dad played ever since he was a child, so being brought up around him and the sport I guess I  had no choice.”  An innate aversion to Tee-ball saw Campbell first pick up a bat at age seven.


Campbell’s mum and dad are still at the core of his career “they are at every game and even follow me around the world. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”  His parents flew to Canada to witness his career breakthrough in 2010, playing for the Under 19 Australian AAA Baseball Team “It was awesome to wear Australia across your chest at the last stage of rep teams before the WBC team.” the proud Aussie reflects.


2011 was a huge year for the rising star, sharing his five month stint at the Arizona League Indians with a familiar face “I roomed with Mitch Nilsson during extended spring and the season, it was a lot more comforting having not only an Australian, but a previous mate there with you. Together I think we surprised a lot of people with our Australian ways and ‘language’”.


His Indians experience redefined him as a player “I had always been a short-stop/second baseman. Not until my 2011 Pro season did I become an actual utility role, playing a lot of outfield”.  In exchange for more field time, you can call him whatever you want “At this point I still feel like an infielder but if playing outfield means I get to play games, and hit, well I will play anywhere.”

“Taking thousands of swings, groundballs and flyballs” in the US improved his game tremendously. “Just the game situations you’re in and the great one-on-one coaching I received really helped me with my knowledge of the game” which prepared him for the ABL season.

Since debuting with the Bandits in Sydney, Campbell was reunited with an Ipswich team-mate, who he reluctantly credits as a role-model “I don’t want him to think he’s my mentor, I won’t hear the end of it, if I had to name one, it would be Josh Roberts.  I have grown up with him and he has had a big input in my baseball life. It’s funny to think I was just a young boy in the under 12 team he coached; now we’re mates, playing in the same Bandits team.”


“He’s definitely a hard worker” Brad Dutton describes Campbell, speaking on behalf of the team “He’ll go from overseas straight in to club ball, because he is loyal and just wants to play baseball every day.  Soup plays the game the right way, that’s why us older guys respect him”.

Even the opposition agrees; Campbell’s performance in Perth had The Heat’s commentators crying ‘Where have they been hiding him!’ with commendations on his ‘flawless’ executions of the ball.


Since his December debut Campbell has played 22 games, batting .307 (23-for-75) and has notched up four doubles, a triple, driven in seven runs and stolen three bases from his 75 appearances.


“My goal is to work even harder than last year” in view of making a long-season team, his confidence is centered not on his talent, but his ability to put in the hard yards.


“2012 sees me going over to America for my first spring training. My plan is to finish the Bandits season off feeling confident, and with some good results and then preparing for my time in the US.”


“There is always something more you can do” Campbell states, revealing an attitude well beyond his years.  “More ground balls, more tee-work, learning more about the game. Don’t settle with comfort. The work you put in your own time is what counts”.  With the playoffs dangling in front of hungry eyes, the Bandits are fortunate that Campbell is proving the perfect addition to their menu.

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