1956 Olympics

From BR Bullpen

Baseball was a demonstration sport at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia and featured a single game.

The game was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 1, 1956. The game began at 12:30 PM before the track and field events, and as a result, an estimated crowd of 114,000 was on hand by the end of the game. This is the largest crowd ever to witness a baseball game.

The Australian team was made up of the nation's top amateur players, while the American team was made up of service members of the United States Far East Command. The usage of American military for players was the idea of Bill Schroeder, founder of the California League in 1941. Schroeder had been contacted by the Melbourne Games' organizers to put together a team to play in a demonstration game. Schroeder's team would consist of American servicemen from throughout the Pacific who would be arrive in Australia for the Olympics on military transports. Prior to the Games, the American team played a series of exhibition games versus local teams.

The United States batted first and scored two runs on three hits by Finch, Pfeffer and Holt. In the second, Australia's White hit a long home run to right field. The game's biggest hit came in the third inning when Sutton hit a grand slam to give the visitors a 6 to 1 lead. In the fifth, the United States scored two more runs after getting two hits followed by two fielding errors. Australia scored another run in the bottom of the inning when Pratt hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Tyshing from first. The Americans scored three more runs in the sixth on three hits bringing the score to 11 to 2. The home team scored three in the bottom of the inning, bringing the final score to 11 to 5 in favor of the Americans.

The game was not well advertised and there were only a few thousand fans in the stands at the start of the game. As the game wore on, fans waiting to see the track and field events began to arrive, and by the game's end an estimated 114,000 were in attendance.

Line Score[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 R
United States 2 0 4 0 2 3 11
Australia 0 1 0 0 1 3 5

United States Roster[edit]

Australia Roster[edit]

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