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Cavalry's win in on par with Austalia's silver medal

The Canberra Cavalry's qualification for the Asia Series baseball final in Taiwan sits alongside Australia's 2004 Olympic silver medal, according to Australian Baseball League operations manager Ben Foster.

While he didn't want to denigrate past glories in Australian baseball, Foster said the Cavalry had taken a massive step for the fledgling ABL, creating a ''legacy'' of legitimacy for Australian teams playing in the Asia Series.

Canberra's 9-5 win over Korean champions Samsung Lions in Monday night's semi-final was a case of David slaying Goliath.

Canberra was not expected to win a match, but has won two of three. The Cavalry - which has a total team payroll of just $47,000 - is dwarfed by other teams in the series, such as the Tohoku Golden Eagles, who forked out $23.5 million this year in player salaries.

Baseball in Japan, where the Eagles play in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, is huge.

Players are like rock stars, staying in five-star hotels and living the high life.


It's a far cry from the ABL, where they live in a spare room with a host family during the season and stay in modest hotels.

The Cavalry created history when it beat Taiwanese team EDA Rhinos on Saturday, becoming the first ABL team to win a game at the Asia Series.

Perth Heat, the benchmark of the ABL competition, failed to taste victory in two attempts in the Asia Series.

Foster compared it to medals won by Team Australia.

''It's certainly significant, 2004 [Olympic silver] … both that and the gold medal at the 1999 Intercontinental Cup were probably two of the biggest international victories we've had,'' Foster said.

While Foster said a Cavs win on Wednesday would be another massive achievement, simply making the final meant the ABL could hold its head high in Asia.

It also ensured the ABL champion will continue to be invited for at least the next five years.

In the space of just three days, Canberra has put Australian baseball on the map.

Not a bad effort from a city that has just 1033 registered players.

While he said Perth had played well in their two shots at winning in the Asia Series, there was a big difference between honourable losses and a win.

''What we're interested in is legacy and building … [and the win] legitimises it in the world view,'' Foster said.

''They are significant wins, people will take notice.''