Baseball in Australia
Baseball in Australia seems like the perfect combination, right? Well, it kind of is. Imagine only playing baseball games on the weekends and having the rest of the week to explore the insane beaches and scenery Australia has to offer. I thought this offseason opportunity was too good to be true, but it's exactly that.
This was the first offseason my husband was a free agent and it gave him the opportunity to play in Australia for winter ball. We were the last ones on the roster because each team is only allowed a handful of imports, and as you can imagine, this league is on the top of most people’s list...at least on the top of my list.
Australia is not a place you come to make the big bucks in the offseason, it’s a place to make big memories with your favorite baseball player.
The Australia Baseball League (ABL) starts in the middle of November and ends in the beginning of February, just in time for spring training. There are 40 games and each big city has a team. Those cities include; Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, and Adelaide.
We were with the Brisbane Bandits located on the eastern side of Australia near the gold coast and sunshine coast (a.k.a some of the best beaches in Australia). The Bandits treated us like family and we were so thankful to have an amazing team who took care of their players and wives so well.
The team put us up in a very nice hotel in a great location, gave us our own car, and provided Aussie phones for us to use while we were there. Each team is a little different so I can't vouch that this will be the case everywhere.
I was able to do a ton of traveling, after I got used to driving on the left side of the road, and explore so many places that have been on my bucket list for a really long time.
It was an incredible experience, but one of the best parts was when my husband told me that playing in Australia was the most fun he’s had on the baseball field in a really long time. That is such an amazing feeling knowing my guy has his love for the game back, especially after a few roller coaster seasons. I love Australia for many reasons, but as a baseball wife, watching your husband play with so much joy makes Australia that much better.
After traveling to Australia, I realized I was very unprepared for the big move down under, so I talked with a few other WAGS on different ABL teams and we came up with a list of 10 tips/advice for future ABL ladies!
10 Tips for Baseball in Australia
1. Buy all of your makeup and other products you love to use BEFORE you get to Australia. Everything is way more expensive here so stock up for three months and your bank account will be happy that you did.
2. Purchase your plane tickets for away games far in advance. I waited until the week we were going somewhere to buy my ticket and it was 3x the amount it would have been if I bought it before the season started.
3. Travel to all the away games. Each city has something amazing to offer and you will have time before the games to check things off your bucket list. I traveled to Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. Some coaches allow their players to leave for away games early or stay later to do a little exploring. I would highly recommend asking for permission far in advance.
4. Leave your straightener and curling iron behind because they will get destroyed. I bought a $10 curling iron at K-Mart and it worked amazing. Side note: K-Mart is better than Target in Australia... who would have thought?!
5. Visit another country! We were on a three month Visa and the season goes a little over three months, so we had to leave the country to renew our Visas in order to stay for the remainder of the season. We chose to visit New Zealand, but other popular locations include; Fiji and Bali. We stopped at New Zealand and Fiji on our way home too!
6. Bring extra super strength sunscreen (50+ at least) because the sun is so intense down under. I grew up in Arizona and it does not even compare to the intensity you feel in Oz.
7. Australia is extremely kid friendly with tons of parks and fun things for kids to do, but make sure you stock up on all your baby supplies because it can get expensive.
8.Try vegemite, Tim Tams, and a meat pie. You may regret one of those but I won’t tell you which.
9. Make a bucket list and travel during the week. I made a point to do at least one road trip each week to a new place because who knows if I will ever be back in Australia again. If you need tips on places to go, feel free to ask me!
10. Enjoy every second, mate! And yes, they do say “mate” A LOT and I love it.