A History of Australian Baseball: Time and Game

A History of Australian Baseball: Time and Game

A History of Australian Baseball: Time and Game

A History of Australian Baseball: Time and Game

Synopsis

Through extensive interviews and archival research, Joe Clark has uncovered the engaging details of Australian baseball's unique, and often turbulent, 125-year history, and for the first time the dynamic story of Australian baseball is told. Initially accepted only grudgingly in the late nineteenth century as an off-season substitute for cricket, baseball in Australia steadily rose in prominence. Starting with neighborhood games played between improvised teams, the sport grew to include state and national leagues and a spirited international competition. Both the shortcomings and the triumphs of Australian baseball are revealed in A History of Australian Baseball: Time and Game, from an ill-fated late-nineteenth-century baseball tour of America and the political firestorm surrounding the formation of the Australian Baseball League in the 1990s, to the amazing defeat of the powerhouse Cuban team in the Intercontinental Cup of 1999.

Excerpt

Baseball has been played much longer in Australia than most realize. The first game was played in Victoria as long ago as 1857. I was first introduced to baseball in 1929, when I joined the Mosman Club in Sydney at age sixteen. Though cricket was always the big summer game all over Australia, baseball had a strong following, especially as a winter game. My years of playing Sheffield Shield cricket in the summer were always complemented by years of playing Claxton Shield baseball in the winter. There was room in my life for both games, just as there is room in Australia for both games. Now that baseball is also a summer sport, it has established its own following, apart from cricket. Australia has hundreds of baseball clubs around the nation, tens of thousands of tee ball and junior players, and hundreds of top- grade players in state and Australian Baseball League competitions, many of whom are playing for Major League Baseball clubs in North America. No one can observe such Australian Major Leaguers as Dave Nilsson, Craig Shipley, and Graeme Lloyd without marveling at how far the sport has developed in our great nation.

Joe Clark plays summer and winter baseball for Sydney's Baulkham Hills club. I first met Joe in June 1994 when he interviewed me about my baseball life. He seemed keen to tackle this subject that has never been done before— the complete national history of baseball in this country. Since that time we have met on many occasions to share our common interests, especially baseball. I have been pleased and impressed to see Joe piecing together the thousands of bits of information necessary to do justice to the history of our game in Australia. As well as reliving many of the unforgettable memories I have from Claxton Shield, I have been impressed and humbled by the many dedicated workers for baseball at club level throughout the Australian states. Baseball will continue to forge ahead, aided by Joe's meticulous work.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.