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2010 Claxton Shield

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2010 Claxton Shield
A graphic of a baseball with the text "Claxton Shield 2010 Est. 1934" superimposed.
The logo for the 2010 Claxton Shield
Season details
Sport Baseball
Country Australia
Teams 5
Dates 6 November 2009 – 7 February 2010
Defending champions Perth Heat (2009)
Regular season
First place Victoria Aces
(17–7)
Second place South Australia
(14–10)
Third place New South Wales Patriots
(14–10)
Fourth place Perth Heat
(12–12)
Fifth place Queensland Rams
(3–21)
Finals series
Final
Champions Victoria Aces (22nd title)
Game score 2–0
Runner-up South Australia
Semi final
Finalist South Australia
Game score 2–1
Eliminated New South Wales Patriots
2009

Last updated on 7 February 2010

The 2010 Claxton Shield was the 57th Claxton Shield tournament, the premier baseball competition in Australia, and was held from 6 November 2009 to 7 February 2010. It was hailed as the precursor to the new Australian Baseball League that will start in the place of the Claxton Shield in late 2010 to early 2011.[1] The Victoria Aces defeated South Australia two games to nil in the championship series to win the tournament; this was the 22nd time the Claxton Shield had been awarded to a Victorian team.[2] The competition was sponsored by Domino's Pizza.[3][4]

At the conclusion of the regular season, the Victoria Aces finished in first place with a 17–7 record, earning home-field advantage for the three-game championship series. South Australia hosted the three-game semi-final series against the New South Wales Patriots. Both teams finished with a 14–10 record. The Perth Heat (12–12) and Queensland Rams (3–21) both failed to qualify for the finals.[5]

Overview

In June 2009, it was announced that the rights to the Claxton Shield had been sold to a new Australian Baseball League (ABL), with ownership split between Major League Baseball's 75 percent share and the 25 percent share owned by the Australian Baseball Federation. The 2010 tournament was considered preparation for the inaugural ABL season starting in 2010–11.[6] It varied from the 2009 Claxton Shield by expanding the season to include ten rounds. Since an uneven number (five) teams were involved, four teams paired off for each round and played a three-game series, while the remaining team took a bye. During the season, each team had two bye rounds and played two rounds against each other team, one at home and one away. In total, the schedule allowed for 24 regular-season games per team before a postseason similar to the 2009 edition: the first-place team directly qualified for the championship series and played against the winner of a playoff series between the second- and third-place teams.[7]

During the regular season, games were played on a Friday night and a doubleheader on Saturday; in each doubleheader one of the two games was shortened to seven innings. The exception to this was when Perth played their home games; they played on a Thursday night instead of a doubleheader on Saturday. Each postseason series was scheduled for a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.[7]

Teams

Rosters

The 2010 series allowed each team to make use of a 19-man active roster.[6] Exceptions were made in two cases that allowed teams' active rosters to expand to 21 players, both times for the same reason. Two games during the season had to be postponed because of poor weather. Both games involved teams meeting for the first time during the season; make-up games were scheduled at the start of the return series between the teams, and this resulted in two four-game series. In both cases, the teams had a 19-man roster for the make-up game, and an expanded 21-man roster for the originally scheduled series.[8]

Venues

The 2010 Claxton Shield was contested between five teams from around Australia. In previous years, many of the teams had played their home games at multiple venues. This season each team held their home games at only one venue. There was one scheduled exception to this at the start of the season: the New South Wales Patriots' final home series against the Perth Heat was held at Gilchrist Oval, whereas all of their other home games were held at Blacktown Baseball Stadium.[7]

As a result of poor attendance at Geelong Baseball Park, game one of the fifth-round series between New South Wales and the Victoria Aces was moved to La Trobe University, Melbourne.[9] Although the Geelong games had attracted crowds of no more than 500,[10] the moved game had an attendance of 2,200.[11] Though no further regular season games were moved, the finals series hosted by the Aces was held at La Trobe University as well.[12]

The venues are as follows:

Team Stadium(s) Location(s)
New South Wales Patriots Blacktown Baseball Stadium
Gilchrist Oval
Rooty Hill (Sydney)
Campbelltown (Sydney)
Perth Heat Baseball Park Thornlie (Perth)
Queensland Rams Holloway Field Newmarket (Brisbane)
South Australia Norwood Oval Norwood (Adelaide)
Victoria Aces Geelong Baseball Park
La Trobe University
Grovedale (Geelong)
Bundoora (Melbourne)

Regular season

Clinched championship series berth
Clinched semi-final series berth
Team W L Pct. GB Home Road
Victoria Aces 17 7 .708 8–4 9–3
South Australia 14 10 .583 3 8–4 6–6
New South Wales Patriots 14 10 .583 3 8–4 6–6
Perth Heat 12 12 .500 5 7–5 5–7
Queensland Rams 3 21 .125 14 2–10 1–11

†—A game postponed from Round 7, held in Round 8, was played with Victoria Aces as the away team and Queensland Rams as the home team, despite being played at Geelong Baseball Park, Geelong, Victoria.[13]
‡—A game postponed from Round 3, held in Round 9, was played with South Australia as the away team and Victoria Aces as the home team, despite being played at Norwood Oval, Adelaide, South Australia.[14]

The Queensland Rams were the first team to be eliminated from contention for the finals, after being swept four games to nil by the Victoria Aces in round 8.[13][15] The following round saw South Australia clinch a position in the finals, despite finishing the round in second position.[13][14] It was not until the final round that the last two spots in the finals were decided: the Aces clinched top spot by sweeping the Perth Heat, which combined with the New South Wales Patriots sweep of the Rams eliminated Perth from contention and secured the last finals spot for the Patriots.[14][16]

Statistical leaders

Finals series

  Semi-final series     Championship series
                 
    1 Victoria Aces 2
  2 South Australia 2     SF W South Australia 0
  3 New South Wales Patriots 1  

The 2010 Claxton Shield made use of the same finals structure as had been used in the 2009 season. The top three teams at the conclusion of the ten rounds of regular-season games qualified. The second- and third-place teams faced in each other in a best-of-three series hosted by the second-place team. The winner of that series then faced the first-place team for a best-of-three series. South Australia hosted the New South Wales Patriots at Norwood Oval, Adelaide, while the Victoria Aces hosted the championship series at La Trobe University, Melbourne.[7] In the finals, the home team and away team alternated during each of the series. As a result, South Australia was officially the away team for game two of its series against New South Wales,[18] as was Victoria in the championship series.[19]

After defeating the Patriots two games to one in the semi-final series, South Australia progressed to the championship series against the Aces. There they were defeated two games to nil. After game two of the championship series, Victoria's Matthew Blackmore was named both Claxton Shield Final Series MVP and Pitcher of the Year.[20]

Semi-final series

29 January
Game 1
South Australia 0 – 1 New South Wales Patriots South Australia Norwood Oval, Adelaide
Attendance: 2,157
Boxscore
30 January
Game 2
New South Wales Patriots 2 – 3 South Australia South Australia Norwood Oval, Adelaide
Attendance: 2,119
Boxscore
31 January
Game 3
South Australia 1 – 0 New South Wales Patriots South Australia Norwood Oval, Adelaide
Attendance: 1,500
Boxscore

Championship series

5 February
Game 1
Victoria Aces 5 – 3 South Australia Victoria (Australia) La Trobe University, Melbourne
Boxscore
6 February
Game 2
South Australia 4 – 7 Victoria Aces Victoria (Australia) La Trobe University, Melbourne
Boxscore

Awards

At the conclusion of the finals series, the winner of two awards were announced. Matthew Blackmore won both the Pitcher of the Year award and the Finals Series MVP award.[20] At the Baseball Australia Diamond Awards, held on 6 March at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Adelaide, Wayne Lundgren was announced as the 35th winner of the Helms Award; the Claxton Shield's Most Valuable Player award. Lundgren was the first pitcher to win since 1986. Runners-up by two votes were Paul Mildren and Michael Collins.[21]

References

  1. ^ Collins, Kingsley (9 October 2009). "Anticipation builds for Claxton Shield". Baseball Victoria. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  2. ^ Laidlaw, Robert (6 February 2010). "Victoria claim the 2009/10 Domino's Claxton Shield". Australian Baseball Federation. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  3. ^ "2010 Claxton Shield website banner". claxtonshield.baseball.com.au. Australian Baseball Federation. Archived from the original (JPG) on December 5, 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Domino's announces sponsorship of Australia's premier baseball competition". Baseball WA. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Results and Standings". Australian Baseball Federation. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  6. ^ a b Foster, Ben (25 August 2009). "Australian Baseball League – Player Information and Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Australian Baseball League. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d "2010 Claxton Shield Game Schedule". Australian Baseball Federation. 2009. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  8. ^ Collins, Kingsley (13 January 2010). "Season at a pivotal stage for both clubs". Victorian Provincial Baseball League. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  9. ^ Collins, Kingsley (23 November 2009). "Target 1000: Support our Aces". Southern Districts Baseball Club. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  10. ^ Green, Bradley (24 November 2009). "Claxton Shield baseball moved from Geelong due to poor crowds". Geelong Advertiser. Archived from the original on 28 December 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  11. ^ "New South Wales vs Victoria (Dec 04, 2009)". Australian Baseball Federation. 4 December 2009. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  12. ^ Foster, Ben (28 January 2010). "Claxton Shield Grandfinal Seats – On Sale Now". Australian Baseball Federation. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  13. ^ a b c "Week 8 Series (Claxton Shield 2010 - Table & Results)". Flintoff & Dunn's Australian Major League Baseball. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  14. ^ a b c "Week 9 Series (Claxton Shield 2010 - Table & Results)". Flintoff & Dunn's Australian Major League Baseball. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Week 7 Series (Claxton Shield 2010 - Table & Results)". Flintoff & Dunn's Australian Major League Baseball. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  16. ^ "Week 10 Series (Claxton Shield 2010 - Table & Results)". Flintoff & Dunn's Australian Major League Baseball. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  17. ^ a b "2009/2010 Claxton Shield - Individual Statistics". Australian Baseball Federation. 24 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  18. ^ "South Australia vs New South Wales (Jan 30, 2010)". 30 January 2010. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  19. ^ "Victoria vs South Australia (Feb 06, 2010)". 6 February 2010. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  20. ^ a b Collins, Kingsley (6 February 2010). "Aces wrap it up in two". Baseball Victoria. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  21. ^ "Wayne Lundgren named 2010 Helms Award winner". Australian Baseball Federation. 1 April 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2010.

External links

  • 2010 Claxton Shield – Official Tournament Website
  • Official Baseball Australia Website

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