Claxton Shield - History - Post WWII

Post WWII

The early part of the decade was interrupted by World War II, however the post war years provided many new players to the competition and brought Australian baseball to new heights. The Victoria Aces began their rise to the dominance of Claxton Shield by achieving their first hat-trick of titles between 1947 and 1949.

In 1950, the Claxton Shield was restored to a national competition after the Queensland Rams returned to the competition after a four year absence. It was a decade of close competition with each capital city holding at least one series during the decade. In 1952, Western Australia won their first title.

The series in 1961 marked an expansion in the competition as all teams played each other twice that year. In 1962, the longstanding tradition of hosting the event in August was broken when host Adelaide scheduled the series in October, perhaps the first step in a long march to create the sport's eventual move in Australia to the summer season. Behind starting pitcher Neil Page, South Australian teams dominated the decade, winning six championships. The decade also marked the introduction of the Helm's Award, which is presented to the Claxton Shield's MVP every year.

South Australia's decade may well have been the 1960s, but the 1970s belonged to Western Australia who captured a title in 1975 and a hattrick from 1977 to 1979 thanks to what was arguably one of the strongest Claxton squads of all time.

The era saw a new dimension of Claxton Shield with corporate involvement and interstate rivalries becoming strong. It also saw the expansion of the competition to six teams, with the admittance of the Northern Territory between 1981 and 1988. After a 42 year drought, the Queensland Rams won their first national title in 1982 before capturing two others in 1983 and 1987. The 1980s saw the likes of such names as Tony Adamson, Dave Nilsson, Graeme Lloyd, Adrian Meagher and Phil Dale. New South Wales Patriots won the last championship in 1988 before the introduction of the Australian Baseball League.

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