OUT OF THE PARK: Ipswich baseballer Andrew Campbell won the Chinese Professional Baseball League Home Run Derby in Taiwan.
OUT OF THE PARK: Ipswich baseballer Andrew Campbell won the Chinese Professional Baseball League Home Run Derby in Taiwan. CPBL Media

Meat pies and iced coffee please!

PREPARING for his first international Home Run Derby, Ipswich baseballer Andrew Campbell suggested he "might have to eat a few more meat pies and ice breaks" if he was to have any chance of claiming victory.

Catching up on sleep after returning from Taiwan yesterday, Campbell confirmed he had not been joking.

"Honestly, I did," he said with a chuckle.

"That and a sponsorship from World Gym Ipswich, I put on about 4kg. And I ended up winning."

Campbell became the first international invitee and thus first international winner of the Chinese Professional Baseball League's Home Run Derby.

The Ipswich Musketeer and Brisbane Bandits centre fielder ousted Chang Chih Hao - "Hollywood" - in a tense 20-minute final.

"I've never been in a home run derby before, I didn't expect (to win)," Campbell said.

"I did say to my old man and (Bandits coach) Dave Nilsson as a joke that I might win it. And I ended up doing it."

The Home Run Derby was part of the CPBL's annual All Star festivities.

Campbell was joined by Bandits teammate Logan Wade as representatives of the Brisbane ball club and by association, the Australian Baseball League.

Wade was narrowly beaten by "Hollywood" on the road to the final.

"It was a bit of a scare (to the home fans) that two Australians could have been in the finals," Campbell said.

"The fact Logan and I both did better than expected, I was pretty stoked."

Campbell said he and Wade were "treated like major league baseball players".

"We got our makeup done, we got haircuts for the first press conference . . . they really wanted to make us shine," he said.

"Just being being in the locker room with the best players in their league was pretty awesome."

While Campbell's breakthrough All Star win was exciting for all involved, the real fruits of the Bandits' venture into Taiwan will be seen in coming years.

"It wasn't just about me and competing," Campbell said.

"We had an opportunity to perform yeah, but Logan and I went over there with the (Bandits) owners to grow the sport, particularly in Brisbane and Australia.

"We met the commissioner of baseball in Taiwan, and a few politicians. We had a big role, we had to sell ourselves and sell the game and hopefully secure partnerships with them.

"Everyone was stoked with how the trip went, and we definitely built some positive partnerships.

"Hopefully we can see a few more Taiwanese players (with the Bandits) now."



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