Almanac Baseball: Bandits Steal Home

The 2017/18 ABL season came to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday when the Brisbane Bandits won their third successive Claxton Shield.


It was the first time Queensland (or a proxy thereof) has done the ‘threepeat’ in a competition dating back to 1934. So it seems appropriate that the fans had to wait things out as inclement weather caused long delays to the championship decider. Interestingly, the weather was even more fickle the preceding weekend when the Bandits hosted the Melbourne Aces for a 3 game playoff that only produced the one game – a walkoff win for the Bandits. How’s that for drama?


Their opponents, the Canberra Cavalry, can take heart from a solid season and a magnificent series win the week before. Travelling to Perth to take on the all-conquering Heat seemed like a horse to the slaughter but the Cavs showed they were genuine contenders when they dropped the first game but then went onto to produce two solid outings.


They were then able to win Game 1 of the Championship Series before heading north. The Bandits steadied and played great ball to snare the two home wins needed to clinch the title.


Another season done and dusted with the ABL seemingly impervious to market forces. Small crowds, no TV deal and the announcement of a game changing Asian foray that never materialised aren’t death knells just yet.


It gives one cause to ponder what sport is all about when you compare the travails of the ABL with a juggernaut like the AFL for instance. The latter can throw a lot of money at blue sky thinking such as AFLX while the former must maintain the grind and do what they can for their fan base, no matter how small.


Baseball fans will now set their sights on the MLB. Spring Training is not far away and predictions are being made about which team can go all the way.


Somebody will steal home in October and may their sox be red is all I can say.




Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

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