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Rawlings pitches in with Australian baseball deal

The Australian Baseball League and national governing body Baseball Australia have announced a three-year partnership with sports equipment manufacturer Rawlings Sporting Goods that will run through 2017.

Rawlings will serve as the official baseball of the ABL and the batting helmet and catchers’ gear provider for both organisations under a deal that continues a policy of securing joint partners for Australian baseball’s national league and sporting organisation. The St Louis-based company has been a partner of the ABL since its inception in 2010.

Baseball Australia began using Rawlings baseballs during its national championship this week and the sport is set for increased exposure as the country gears up for the arrival of the MLB Opening Series, featuring Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers on March 22 and 23 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Opening Series games will use Rawlings’ MLB balls, with the company having served as the official ball supplier to baseball's premier competition in North America since 1977. To coincide with the showpiece event, Rawlings will launch its National Play Catch Month initiative across Australia to drive recreational and grassroots participation in baseball.

“Australia continues to be a robust growth market for Rawlings,” Rawlings’ senior director of global brand marketing Kurt Hunzeker said. “Rawlings is committed to doing everything we can to help grow the game across the continent.  The new partnership with Baseball Australia provides us a great opportunity to engage would-be Australian players of all ages.”