Almanac Baseball: The Other Summer Shield

The great seasonal migration for many sports fans is from footy season to Spring Racing to cricket. For followers of sports that have a more global reach they get their premier versions happening at the same time as the local one, think EPL/ A League or NBA/ NBL.


Fortunately, for this little Vegemite our national baseball comp, the ABL, runs through our summer like it should and therefore fills the void left by the end of the MLB. In my last post, the World Series had me ruminating about some of the great stories of the first Astros win and pining for a return to glory for the boys from Fenway.


It’s time to look ahead to the 8th version of the Australian Baseball League and the quest for the Claxton Shield. Many may not be aware that the Claxton has run parallel to the Sheffield for much of its history and has created a more low key version to the football rivalry between Victoria and SA as the two most successful states. However, unlike the interstate cricket competition the baseball version has had many permutations. Under the current system, franchises from the 5 mainland states and one from Canberra vie for the Shield. So, yes, it is a 6 team affair with each team playing a home and away series against each other often over 4 days. Sound familiar?


But enough with the milking of every similarity between the two Shields and onto the baseball. The ABL has tried to whet the appetite of fans with some tasty headline acts for the upcoming season along with an impending announcement of expansion and more exposure to the massive Asian market (baseball is THE game in Japan, Korea and Taiwan with a growing presence in China to boot). Signing a former post season MVP in Delmon Young is really the biggest of the announcements, particularly if you are an Aces fan like me. Each team will have a sprinkling of foreign players as well as a roster of impressive local talent. This mix means the annual All Star game that pits locals v imports has a bit more feeling with each passing year.


So almanackers if you are looking for a new treat this summer keep an eye out for the ABL. Each game is broadcast on their YouTube channel so you can watch at your leisure. Who knows some of you may even take the plunge and head out to your local ballpark. Games go for about 3 hours and will set you back $15 so pretty good value I reckon and there are more punters there than at our great stadiums watching the other Shield. And the best thing of all, unlike the ongoing trench warfare of the winter footy codes these two summer bat and ball codes are almost blissfully unaware of each other, or so it seems. For the season when people want to switch off and relax that’s a grand thing to behold.



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.


  1. Where does the Melbourne team play mate?

  2. Brian the ruminator says

    Melbourne Ballpark (beside the freeway at Altoona )

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