Last Saturday, I got to do one of my favorite things: go to a baseball game!!! Baseball is not popular in Australia at all. There used to be a professional teams, but the Australia Baseball League ended about 10 years ago. Now, the only "professional" baseball you can watch is every year at the Claxton Shield. The Claxton Shield is a tournament of the state teams that lasts from November to January, and is played at various locations around Australia. The winning state receives the honor of having the best baseball team and the Claxton Shield, of course. Dan Mowday, a fellow baseball enthuasist, told me about it, and he didn't have to do too much convincing to get me there. We also invited Jamie and Sammie from Warringah to join us. We went and watched the New South Wales Patriots play at their home field (Sydney Olympic Park) against the Queensland Rams (New South Wales' bitter enemy in all sporting events.) Even though the game was played at where Olympic baseball was played, it was a pretty small park. It was liking going to an NCAA college baseball game or a double-A game. The NSW Patriots smashed the Rams in both games of the double header, winning by over 5 runs each time. It was perfect Spring baseball weather--warm in the afternoon, but cooler as the sun began to set. I completely forgot I was in Australia during the game! They started off the game with the national anthem, and played "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. But, the annoucer's accent and the presence of meat pies at the concession stand brought me back to reality. Even though Dan and I didn't make it back to Gosford until almost midnight, it was a great way to spend a Saturday night. I definitley plan to go again next year!
Jamie, Sammie, and I loving baseball at the Claxton Shield.