The Origin of Claxton Shield
formation of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) the pinnacle of Australian
baseball competition was the Claxton Shield, which had a long history and great
tradition of its own. It was an amateur competition little known outside of
participating baseball families and genuine baseball devotees.
The Claxton Shield was a very high quality annual competition contested by teams selected to represent the major States of Australia. The games were usually played in the form of a compressed "carnival" over little more than a week where teams would battle for the right to play-off in a Grand Final, while the ultimate winners were to become holders of the prestigious Claxton Shield. Underpinning the Claxton Shield competition were the local baseball leagues in various major cities around Australia, from which the Claxton Shield teams were chosen.
Perhaps inspired by the formation of several other new national sporting leagues in Australia and the relative success of Australia's National Basketball League in the 1980's, the Australian Baseball League was conceived in 1987.
There was quite a deal of interest from around Australia proposing nominations for clubs to join the new national competition, before finally eight teams were confirmed to pioneer Australian major league baseball.
The Australian Baseball League formally got underway in October 1989, representing Australia's first professional "major league". Officially, the first ABL game was contested between Perth Heat and Adelaide Giants at Parry Field in Perth on 27 October 1989, with the Giants winning 8-5.
find more great information on the Claxton Shield on the
Flintoff & Dunn's site:- http://www.users.bigpond.com/goreds
Joe Clarkes site http://www.australianbaseballhistory