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Australia's Baseball Beginnings

Baseball was brought to Australia by American gold miners and played on the gold fields of Ballarat for fun on their rest days in the 1850s.

Cricketers Gaggin & Goldsmith tried to play baseball at Yarra Park, Melbourne in 1867, but AFL fans arriving for the adjacent AFL football disrupted the games.

The first series of full competitive games of baseball by Australians were played by members of the Surry Baseball Club on Moore Park and by members of the NSW Cricket Association on the adjacent Sydney Cricket Ground in June/July 1878.

In 1881, American residents formed a Union Baseball Club and a year later with Australians, formed a Sydney Baseball Club with U.S. Consul Gilderoy Wells Griffin forming a NSW Baseball Association in 1885.

Following the A.G. Spalding tour by the Chicago White Sox and All-America teams in 1888/9, Harry Simpson stayed in Australia, formed baseball clubs in Melbourne, Adelaide, Broken Hill, and eventually Sydney with competition games being played. Simpson also travelled to New Zealand to promote baseball. When he suddenly died in September 1891, after setting up the NSW Baseball League, it was a New Zealander, Tony Chuck, who took his place in Australia.

Australian Baseball Firsts

First overseas teams in Australia

First state controlling body

First national controlling body

First interstate championship

First overseas tour by Australian team

First official club competition

First Australian championships

First Australian schoolboys interstate series

First games against American teams in Australia

First test games in Australia

First Australian national team for women