Baseball in Australia

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Baseball in Australia

Postby mikesglove » March 27th, 2014, 3:48 am

Below is the Sydney Cricket Grounds retrofitted for the start of the 2014 MLB season with the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks. It is a pretty nice looking stadium.

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Australia has its own Australian Baseball League. It was recently formed with partial financing through MLB. The ABL has its roots in the rivalry between state based teams started in 1934 with the championship team awarded the Claxton Shield. Beautifull looking award with each winning team inscribed on the plaque.

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Below is a photo of a player of the 2013 winning team, the Canberra Calvary with the Claxton Shield.

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It was written that baseball in Australia had its roots in the 1850's when American prospectors came to the country lured by the Victorian Gold Rush. Baseball was played near the gold fields and took hold strong enough that A.G. Spalding stopped in Australia on his world tour of 1888. Below is a spectacular presentation piece commemorating the event.

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informal competitive leagues started throughout the country by 1890. Local tournaments were held and interstate rivalries developed. Below is a local team circa 1919. This culminated with the establishment of the Claxton Sield in 1934 for a countrywide championship tournament.

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Below is a team from the 1930's.

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below is a newspaper ad from 1928.

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One of the men promoting Australian baseball during the 1920-1930s was Ferdinand Schellnack, managing director of Nutting & Young Sporting Goods located in Melbourne. He traveled throughout the country, encouraging the local teams and donating trophy cups for local tournament play.

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Nutting & Young Co. were saddlers and harness makers at the turn of the century in Melbourne. Schellnack was responsible for a couple of patents for horse gear in early 1900's. Nutting & Young eventually became a major wholesale sporting goods dealer in all manner of equipment; soccer, rugby, golf, cricket and also baseball. Below is a view of the 2nd floor sewing room of the N&Y factory.

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below are a couple of display photos circa 1940 of all the gear available from N&Y.

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The Nutting & Young gloves are pretty rare. The first is a 1940's base mitt from ebay in 2013.

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Below is a really stellar example from JD's collection. It looks like a snap back wrist strap model.

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mikesglove
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Re: Baseball in Australia

Postby vintagebrett » March 28th, 2014, 6:56 am

Great information Mike - thanks. It would be interesting to put together a collection of pre 1950 gloves from different countries - wonder how many total there would be?
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Re: Baseball in Australia

Postby mikesglove » September 24th, 2014, 12:50 pm

below is a nice looking Nutting & Young glove. it is a "LyreBird" model. It has the same snap button closure as the model above.
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Below is an illustration of a Lyrebird. It has a tail somewhat like a peacock. They are ground dwellers native to Australia.
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Nutting & Young registered the LyreBird trademark in 1946.
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Re: Baseball in Australia

Postby vintagebrett » September 24th, 2014, 12:59 pm

Cool logo - too bad they didn't put it on the label of the glove.
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Re: Baseball in Australia

Postby mikesglove » May 28th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Below is an advertisement for the Australian leg of the 1888 Spalding World Tour.
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Below is a link to other stops along the tour. The photo of a game with the Pyramid at Giza as a backdrop is cool.
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/03/11/sports/baseball/australia-baseball/s/australia-baseball-slide-Y5OA.html
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