Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reflections on the ABL Opening Day and Series

The Australian Baseball League Opening Day was last Thursday, featuring a game between the Canberra Cavalry and the Melbourne Aces. Official attendance for the game was 1842, which is a good crowd by ABL standards. Most things went fairly smoothly, with my only pet peeve being the disorganisation around player identification.

Apparently there have been some issues with the naming kits for the uniforms not having arrived, meaning that none of the players had their names on their uniforms throughout the series.

Melbourne Aces players line up before the anthem is sung on Opening Night © 2013 Adam East

 Just to make things even more difficult, players didn't seem to have settled on their numbers either, with both the series program and the ABL website failing to list the uniform numbers for most players. That made it even harder to try and identify which player was whom. It didn't help when the Aces management accidentally put their players in the wrong positions on their team sheet one night as well, which resulted in the PA announcer calling out the wrong player names at various times.

The Cavalry wore a special uniform for the opening game. It was a typical white home uniform from last year, but with gold trim and patches proclaiming  them as the Centenary Champions. Canberra celebrated it's 100th birthday in 2013, so it's a dual reference to it being Canberra's first game since winning the 2012-13 championship, and celebrating Canberra's Centenary.

Robbie Perkins and other Cavalry players in the Centenary Champion uniforms © 2013 Adam East

The Manager and GM were presented with a championship banner and a key to the city of Canberra by the Deputy Government Leader before the start of the game.

Sarge, Manager Tubby Collins and GM Thom Carter with championship banner and key to the city © Adam East

I discovered that each team this year has three possible uniforms they can wear - both the home white uniforms and grey away uniforms from last year, but also the "coloured top" uniforms used as home uniforms in 2010-11 and away uniforms in 2011-12.

I really hope they continue with wearing the coloured top uniforms - they give the teams a far more distinctive look and feel than the more generically bland white or grey uniforms. I reckon they look better on cards too. Melbourne wore their coloured top uniforms throughout the series, whilst Canberra also wore those each night apart from the Centenary Champions uniforms on opening night.

Canberra players in their orange top uniforms. © 2013 Adam East

On a side note it was funny to see some of the players a bit perturbed by the tens of thousands of bogong moths that descended on the ground on Saturday night when the lights were on. Canberra is in a migratory route for these moths, and they certainly came out in numbers during the evening, and even in the crowd you would occasionally get hit by moths that were a part of the huge ensemble.

Bogong moths invade Fort Narrabundah - © 2013 Adam East

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