Huber in hall of fame

Justin Huber on the field.

Ferntree Gully raised Justin Huber was recently inducted into Baseball Australia’s Hall of Fame.

As general manager of the Melbourne Aces, Mr Huber was inducted to honour his excellence in the sport of baseball here in Australia and abroad.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized in this way, with such a high class in Australian Baseball before me, it is without doubt an incredible honour,” Huber said.

“I am genuinely thankful to be contributing to the sport I love in a new way post my playing career. I can’t wait to see our sport grow and flourish for generations to come, as those who nurtured and supported me throughout my journey have before me.”

A native of Victoria, Huber played five seasons in Major League Baseball, along with one in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. After five seasons playing for the Aces, he has served as Melbourne’s GM since 2015.

At just 18 years old, Huber signed with the New York Mets and after being traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2004, made his Major League debut with the Royals in June 2005.

The 20th Australian Major Leaguer, he played in 72 games between 2005 and 2009 with the Royals, San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins. After a trade from Kansas City to San Diego, Huber’s first MLB home run came in April 2008 off of future MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Following a season in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball, Huber returned home to Melbourne and joined the Melbourne Aces for the relaunch of the Australian Baseball League in the summer of 2010.

Across five seasons with the Aces, Huber played in 170 games, currently the fourth-most in team history. His breakout 2011/12 season helped take the Aces to the ABL Championship Series for the first time in the modern ABL.

Huber retired from playing after the 2014/15 season and assumed the helm of his hometown Aces, having served as the team’s General Manager for the past two seasons.

Under his guidance, the Claxton Shield returned to Victoria in February 2020, as the Aces swept the Adelaide Giants 2-0 in the ABL Championship Series before repeating as champions in 2021, keeping the Claxton Shield in Melbourne for a second year.

At the national level, Huber represented Team Australia at the 2011 world Cup, as well as the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic and three junior events from 1998-2000.

Huber grew up playing for Upwey Ferntree Gully Baseball Club and joined Preston Pirates Baseball Club after concluding his professional career overseas. He also served as the CEO of Baseball Victoria from July 2017 to June 2019, leading BV through many positive changes, from VSBL competition to the development pathway and organisation as a whole.

“I am thrilled that Justin’s contribution to our sport is being recognized in this way, he has excelled in so many ways,” said Aces Chairman Brett Ralph.

“From representing his State and his Country, to his MLB and Japanese careers, his participation in the ABL, CEO of Baseball Victoria and now his success as GM of the Melbourne Aces, taking us to back to back titles, he has done it all. He truly is an Australian Baseball Hall of Famer.”

Huber, alongside West Australian Neville Pratt, were endorsed last week as the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame. Baseball Australia’s Hall of Fame launched in 2005 in order to recognises players, officials and administrators who have achieved excellence domestically or abroad.

“Congratulations to Neville also, who I am thrilled to be honoured alongside for his giant contribution and success in our sport,” Huber added.