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With father battling cancer, Grant Balfour earns early induction into Australia's Baseball HOF

Grant Balfour to get early induction into Aussie HOF

Rays relief pitcher Grant Balfour is one of the best Australian baseball players ever. While the ABL has a track record of entertaining action on the diamond, very few Aussie players have experienced prolonged success in Major League Baseball.

Balfour made his MLB debut in 2001, but didn't exceed rookie limits until 2004 with the Twins. Over parts of 13 MLB seasons, Balfour has appeared in 528 games and maintained a 3.46 ERA while accumulating 84 saves. Of those 84 saves, 74 have been in the last three seasons with the Athletics and Rays.

Baseball Australia -- "the governing body for all levels of baseball throughout the country" -- is set to induct Balfour into its Hall of Fame, even though he's still active in MLB, so that his father David will be able to see it. David Balfour was a rugby player for the Balmain Tigers back in his youth, but has spent recent years battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy for a tumor in his neck.

"I am honoured to be inducted into the Baseball Australia Hall of Fame with many other greats who have played or made a huge impact on this game," Balfour said.

"I started out playing baseball at the age of 6 and continue to play the game today. It has been my life and I am very fortunate to have made a great living from this game. I continue my passion for the game and hope to accomplish many more things to come. I want to thank my family who have been there for me my whole career and are my biggest fans."

Tune in to MLB Network for Game 1 of the ABL Championship between the Perth Heat and the Adelaide Bite on Feb. 6 at 3:30 am ET. 

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