Phatferd wrote:Hey Ryn, I know you're in NZ. I'm sure baseball is not very popular, but I am curious as to how you find people to play with? How competitive is it?
I'm actually in Australia. New Zealand to Australia is like Canada to America.
Baseball is actually somewhat popular here, and is growing pretty well. We used to have a national league that was played in stadiums but there were only a couple of thousand people showing up to each game so it folded. MLB have stepped in due to the interest and number of players emerging from here, and are going to sponsor a national league starting in 2007.
I play for a club at the highest level you can play at club level. You can represent state at national championships etc but I'm not that good. There is no shortage of players, there's about 12 teams in my league from this city alone, and the game is played in every capital city in the country.
Australia actually won the silver medal at the olympics for baseball in 2004 - granted the US weren't there and it's just an amateur competition, but we beat out teams like Mexico, Japan, Chinese Taipei.....Cuba were the only team to beat us, and even then in the gold medal game it was close. So yeah, the quality of play down here is improving, and there are hundreds of Australians in the minors over there. The guys playing at the highest level in the US are probably guys like Grant Balfour, Trent Durrington, Justin Huber. Damian Moss was another guy, but I have no idea where he is now.
Hope that answers your question. Sorry for the length.