LA Dodgers pitcher would love a 'home' game in Sydney

PETER Moylan gave up on his Major League dream while still in his teens, after being released from the Minnesota Twins' farm system.

The man who attended Aquinas College in Perth and played AFL against Ben Cousins is now a big name in the US, relief pitching for the LA Dodgers last season.

Moylan was at the Sydney Opera House yesterday, where it was announced the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks would play warm-up matches against Team Australia in March next year.

The hit-outs will precede a two-game series between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks at the SCG to open the 2014 MLB competition, the first time Major League games have been played in Australia.

The 34-year-old said he would love to be a part of history, but is now a free agent and could end up at a different club next year.

"I'd love to play over here, but that's not up to me," Moylan said.

His journey to the top is a real rags to riches story.

"I went to the States as a 17-year-old straight out of high school. I didn't give it everything that I should have, so I was released a couple of years later," he said.

"From there I came home and just worked a regular job. I was doing a whole bunch of things - selling pest control products, pharmaceuticals.

"It turned out I was pitching for my local club, Blackburn in Melbourne, and a couple of Australian scouts wanted me to come and try out for the World Baseball Classic team."

Not only Moylan make that team, he was also spotted by a talent scout from the Atlanta Braves and invited to join that club's Triple-A squad for spring training.

"I'd only played rookie ball, so to be able to go back and be put straight back into Triple-A was unreal," he said.

"I was thrown into the deep end basically. But once you get over the initial nerves of pitching in the big leagues, you just want to compete when the game's on the line."

One player who knows all about stepping up with the game on the line is Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis.

He has fond memories of playing Arizona - he hit the winning home run against the Diamondbacks last season when the Dodgers claimed the National League West crown.

"That's definitely the highlight of my career, as far as personal achievements. It's something I'll never forget," he said.

Ellis also said he was thrilled to be opening the season in Australia.

"We're so excited play in a great country and a place like Sydney, at a historic venue like the Cricket Ground - it's going to be a 'can't miss' event for everybody," he said.

Ellis was in Sydney to promote the games with Diamondbacks pitcher Pat Corbin who only took up the game in high school after discovering he had a strong throwing arm while playing American football.