John Robert Challinor
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 190 lb.
John Challinor pitched in the US and Australia and for the Australian national team.
He debuted with the Adelaide Giants in the 1993-1994 Australian Baseball League, saving two games and fanning 12 in 9 2/3 IP but allowing nine runs. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and split the summer of '94 between the Yakima Bears (4-2, 3.79) and Bakersfield Dodgers (4-3, 4.50). He tied for 10th in the Dodgers chain in wins. In 1994-1995, he was 1-1 with a save and a 4.52 ERA for Adelaide. He went 2-6 with a save and a 3.86 ERA in 37 games for the 1995 Vero Beach Dodgers to end his time in their system.
In the 1995-1996 ABL, he was 5-7 with a 4.59 ERA threw a one-hitter. He led the ABL in IP (100, 4 1/3 ahead of David White), starts (16, tied with White) and strikeouts (77, two ahead of Earl Byrne). He had a 8-6, 3.86 record for 1996-1997 Adelaide. He was 5th in the league in ERA and K:BB ratio (2.65:1) and tied Kevin Millwood and Stuart Howell for third in wins. He is listed as managing Australia in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, which would seem odd for a 22-year-old; this is either a great testament to Challinor or the John Challinor managing Australia was another individual?
Challinor moved to the Melbourne Monarchs for 1997-1998 but imploded to 2-5, 7.16 with one save. Returning to Adelaide in 1998-1999, he rebounded to go 3-1 with four saves, a 2.21 ERA, .210 opponent average and 54 K in 40 2/3 IP. He tied Matt Gourlay for third in saves and was named the first-team All-Star relief pitcher but lost Reliever of the Year to Grahame Cassel.
As the ABL ended its initial ten-year run, Challinor was among numerous career leaderboards: IP (281 2/3, 15th), games pitched (89, tied for 17th with Warren May), losses (20, tied for 15th), saves (8, 13th), hits allowed (293, 18th), runs allowed (178, 19th), K (233, 10th, between Simon Sheldon-Collins and Bob Nilsson), walks issued (107, 20th), homers allowed (39, tied for 16th), wild pitches (18, 7th) and opponent average (.258, 20th).
The ABL was replaced by the International Baseball League of Australia for 1999-2000 and he did well again (2-1, 2.48, .222 opponent average), for South Australia. He returned to the US, going 8-5 with a 3.47 ERA for the Catskill Cougars. He tied for 7th in the Northern League East in wins and was 5th with 99 strikeouts (between Chad Ward and Finley Woodward). His next appearance was for Australia in the 2003 Oceania Championship, pitching four shutout innings (two hits, one walk) as the Aussies won a spot in the 2004 Olympics (where they won Silver). Only Matty Gahan had more innings with no runs in the 2003 Oceania Championship.
John returned to domestic competition in 2004 with South Australia in the Claxton Shield, going 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA. He was 1-0 the next year, allowing four hits and no walks in 12 shutout innings, striking out ten. He led the event in ERA and strikeouts (one ahead of Wayne Ough and Ryan Rowland-Smith). He was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 2006 and 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in '08, his final season. He had gone 26-23 with 8 saves and a 4.06 ERA in 103 games in the ABL, IBLA and Claxton Shield. He was 18-16 with a save and a 3.79 ERA in 95 games in the US.
- Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac
- Defunct IBAF site
- Baseball Oceania history PDF