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G'day, baseball! Opening day goes Down Under

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 22, 2014 at 8:53 am •  Published: March 22, 2014
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SYDNEY (AP) — Bob Wardle came ready to root for the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day Down Under, all dressed in his Paul Goldschmidt jersey.

The special menu at Sydney Cricket Ground? Not quite to his taste.

"I'm not sure if I'll try anything here," said Wardle, born in Canada and now living in Sydney. "I've already had some very strange things at ballparks in the U.S."

At $36 for a 2-foot-long hot dog, he was ready to pass Saturday night. He was holding off on the nachos and ice-cream sundaes served in batting helmets, too.

No worries, though.

Wardle and his daughter were having a fun time as the most quintessential of American sports took top billing at the symbolic home of Australia's national game when the 2014 Major League Baseball season got started.

At a venue steeped in the history of another bat and ball game — cricket — the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1 before a sellout crowd of around 40,000.

The two-game series marked the first regular-season games in Australia. Previous MLB season openers were held in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1999, San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2001 and four times in Tokyo (2000, '04, '08 and '12).

Speaking ahead of the first pitch, Commissioner Bud Selig said this visit had been a success. He was noncommittal on when MLB would return to Australia or anywhere else around the globe.

"We don't know yet, we're working on several things," Selig said. "We're going to examine all our possibilities. The nice part about all of this is we're getting now overtures, really good ones, from all over the world."

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