Almanac Baseball: The ABL Curveball

A few months ago, the Australian Baseball League (ABL) announced that the competition was set to expand from six teams to eight for the upcoming season. There was a lot of attention paid to the team to based in Geelong, compromising Korean players and imaginatively titled Geelong-Korea (not an immediate juxtaposition one would conjure for a tourism campaign). I was unsure whether the residents of Old Corio were going to bone up on their K-Pop and start fermenting kimchi in their backyards but I was certainly excited at the prospect of a trip down the freeway to watch some stick in a new ballpark.


The missing link at that point was the detail around the Auckland team. Alas, the ABL was delving into those troubled waters of creating a Trans Tasman competition where enough interest could only be mustered for one team on the wrong side of the ditch. God knows Super Rugby has its issues, but at least our far flung cousins could say they have more skin in that game! On Monday, it was announced the Auckland team will be known as the Tuatara with the media release stating that taking the name of the nation’s oldest surviving species was a note of intent that this was a long term investment. Let’s hope it’s not the kiss of death. Now we have all of the eight teams in place for the season, let’s play ball.


There will be two divisions for this season and beyond. The South-West Division comprises Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Geelong. The North-East Division has Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Auckland. Over 10 rounds each team within divisions will play each other home and away and each team from the other division either home or away. There will be two weeks of finals like there has been in preceding seasons.


It is admirable that the ABL is attempting to create a summer competition that offers people the chance to watch a true summer game as an alternative to cricket. As I have ruminated in a previous post, the BBL has done a fantastic job in getting fans on board where they can cheer for their team in a true national competition. The best the ABL can hope for is some passion on a much smaller scale. It would be nice to think their go-to pitch is a fastball that gets the general public excited but it will probably be a curveball – enigmatic and bemusing, only understood by true fans.




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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