Team Australia is Australia’s senior national men’s baseball team. They compete consistently in the biennial IBAF Baseball World Cup, and Major League Baseball’s triennial World Baseball Classic.
The annual Australian Baseball League All-Star Game provides an opportunity for Team Australia to play on home soil vs. the World All-Stars.
2014 Major League Baseball Opening Series
In 2014, Sydney hosted the MLB Opening Series, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks playing the opening series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Team Australia Challenge, 20 and 21 March 2014 prior to the Opening Series, pitted Team Australia against both MLB teams. Australia made the Dodgers work for their first win, leading for seven innings until a 2-run homer by Yusiel Puig in the eighth put the Dodgers back on track for a 4-2 win. The historic moment came on the Friday night when Australia shut-out the Diamondbacks 5-0 to take the win over the West Division MLB side.
Baseball was included in the Olympic program from 1992, but was dropped, along with Softball, after the Beijing 2008 Games. Team Australia’s best Olympic result is Silver at the Athens 2004 behind the mighty Cubans.
Baseball/Softball has been reinstated for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In 2013, following public suggestions and final vote, Team Australia was given the nickname Southern Thunder; providing the team with a distinguishable characteristic and nickname for fans to adopt, beyond the generic Team Australia.