Dear future Australian Baseball League imports,
One day, someone is going to ask you if you’d like to play winter ball in Australia. If I was you, then I’d say yes, but of course it is more complicated than that.
The above picture shows where the league kicked off in 2010, a stadium, barely recognisable for baseball, with no shelter to protect fans on what was a very cold and wet Melbourne afternoon, where not a pitch was thrown.
Let’s flash forward to what it is at the moment, because after all that is what you are going to want to look at before deciding to come down here. Six great teams, with six great fan bases competing for one of the oldest trophies in Australian sport, with one of those teams potentially being 6-7 hours away from being crowned the champions of Asia.
The difference you see is that baseball isn’t going to get the media coverage that you would find in your own country, but we are moving in the right direction.
Media of some form are at every game, slugging it out to bring the loyal fan bases the latest news on the clubs that make summer more enjoyable, while on occasions the national media will see a story they like and run with it. So the chance is there.
The crowds might be smaller than what you are used to, but when push comes to shove we have the best elements of Minor League ball in the best country available to play your winter ball in.
The mid-inning games, the music blasting between pitches, the delicious yet at times questionable ballpark food, cramped hotels with guys that will go on to become lifelong friends.
You might need to look at a map to discover how big Australia is, or you might have to Google to make sure that we do in fact play baseball out here and that you aren’t being taken for a ride, but you know what?
If you give it your all then the fans are going to love you, and the front office may want you back next season too.
It might not be the Big League but we’ll do everything we can to make you feel like the next stop for you is Cooperstown.
See you soon.