Aussies are matching it with the rest of the baseball world.
BASEBALL: A SNAPSHOT
The Australian men’s team is ranked tenth in the world, the Australian female team ranked fifth. Throw in several current and former Major League Baseball players playing in the national league, as well as increased participation for the ninth year in a row? Hey Australia, baseball is here.
Australian baseball came on in leaps and bounds in the year 2016, with historic results at the Little League World Series, a tournament which is broadcast internationally on ESPN and brings teams together from across the world.
As well as Australia's Little League program thriving, the national high performance program is coming off the back of one of the most successful periods ever. February 2016 saw Australia’s men’s national team, the Southern Thunder, qualify for the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic, the most prestigious international tournament on the calendar. Couple that with the women's national team, the Emeralds, finishing fifth at the recent World Cup, and the Australian under-23 men’s team claiming a silver medal at its World Cup, and you’ve got yourself a successful high performance program.
The Australian Baseball League has continually improved both on and off the field since its revival in 2010, with this season shaping up as one of the most interesting yet. The Melbourne Aces have struggled in the last few years, but are in the box seat to host the ABL Championship Series in early February, but with many other teams looking to make some noise in the playoffs, anything can happen.
Forget America’s pastime making waves in Australia - baseball in Australia has proven it can match it with the best in the world, and there’s no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.