Baseball
Baseball

Baseball is played in all states and territories of the country and is considered traditionally a summer sport, meaning such that it will start in spring and end in autumn, however, this has changed many times in Australia for different reasons. One of these reasons is because baseball in Australia was originally considered a sport for cricketers in the off-season, but as baseball became more popular as a standalone sport it was played more often in summer.


The Claxton Shield was traditionally played in the Australian winter so Sheffield Shield players could participate. However, the Australian Baseball League, International Baseball League of Australia and Claxton Shield in recent years have been played in the Australian summer, this is due to the MLB and other northern hemisphere baseball leagues being played in the northern summer, therefore many high profile players from Australia were unable to play in the southern winter.


Both summer and winter baseball was played in Melbourne in the 1920s and Sydney from 1913 until the end of World War II, when baseball across Australia became mainly winter only. The exception to this was summer night baseball at Norwood Oval in Adelaide, South Australia in the 1950s and at Oriole Stadium in Sydney from 1969.


During the late 1960s the trend swung back towards baseball's traditional season of summer when the New South Wales Major League decided to play summer only day baseball in 1973, a breakaway Sydney Winter League formed to continue playing in winter, while most NSW country centres continued in the winter. The Victorian Baseball Association in Melbourne switched to summer only in mid 1970. Since 1974 Sydney Baseball is now indeed an all year round sport.


Baseball is played in all states and territories of the country and is considered traditionally a summer sport, meaning such that it will start in spring and end in autumn, however, this has changed many times in Australia for different reasons. One of these reasons is because baseball in Australia was originally considered a sport for cricketers in the off-season, but as baseball became more popular as a standalone sport it was played more often in summer.


The Claxton Shield was traditionally played in the Australian winter so Sheffield Shield players could participate. However, the Australian Baseball League, International Baseball League of Australia and Claxton Shield in recent years have been played in the Australian summer, this is due to the MLB and other northern hemisphere baseball leagues being played in the northern summer, therefore many high profile players from Australia were unable to play in the southern winter.


Both summer and winter baseball was played in Melbourne in the 1920s and Sydney from 1913 until the end of World War II, when baseball across Australia became mainly winter only.


The exception to this was summer night baseball at Norwood Oval in Adelaide, South Australia in the 1950s and at Oriole Stadium in Sydney from 1969. During the late 1960s the trend swung back towards baseball's traditional season of summer

When the New South Wales Major League decided to play summer only day baseball in 1973, a breakaway Sydney Winter League formed to continue playing in winter, while most NSW country centres continued in the winter. The Victorian Baseball Association in Melbourne switched to summer only in mid 1970. Since 1974 Sydney Baseball is now indeed an all year round sport.


Baseball is believed to have been brought to Australia with American gold miners in the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, where miners would play baseball on the gold fields on their rest days. The first reports of organised teams and results appeared in Ballarat, Victoria in 1857.

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n 1867, Victorian cricketers William Gaggin and Louis Goldsmith tried to set up a game of baseball at Yarra Park but were disrupted by fans arriving for a local Australian football match. The first competitive series was played between the Surry Baseball Club and members of the New South Wales Cricket Association over June/July 1878. However, it is argued competitive organised one off matches from as early as 1875 were played before this time.


The first interstate baseball games were played in 1890 when Victoria played South Australia at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground. The visitors won the best of three series 16-14, 27-18 and 22-26 in Melbourne. These two states in 1897 formed the first Australia representative baseball team which toured the United States.


The Australian team sponsored by Mr A.J Roberts with £1,500 was selected to tour the United States. They were outclassed by the home teams, winning only eight of its first 26 matches. The Americans were surprised to note the Australian outfielders did not wear mitts. Many of the tourists relied on friends and relatives to get them home as the organisers ran out of credit to send them back home.