Hedland residents flocked to watch a rare professional-level baseball game on November 16, as Western Australia’s Perth Heat took on an USA All-Stars team in a tight and highly entertaining encounter.
The USA All-stars eventually prevailed on the day with a hard fought one run to nil victory.
But, while the home team might not have got across the line for a win, the Heat were still bowled over by the support from locals, who crowded into every vantage point at South Hedland’s Marie Marland Reserve to watch the game.
The Heat and USA players also ran community and school skills clinics across two days, while a celebrity softball game and community barbecue were also popular draw cards.
With thousands attending the free events, Acting Tourism Minister John Day said the visit was a major boost for the Pilbara region.
“To have a high profile national team like the Perth Heat visit the Pilbara is a great achievement and our thanks go out to the team and Baseball WA,” he said.
He said Pilbara baseball players were also well represented in the visit.
WA’s Kennelly brothers, Sam, who this year signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Matt, a free agent previously signed with the Atlanta Braves and Port Hedland’s Jesse Barron and Brendan Wise were all involved in the trip.
The Heat and All Stars visit was sponsored by Royalties for Regions-funded body Eventscorp, Tourism Western Australia, the Town of Port Hedland and Fortescue Metals Group.
The Heat now hope to secure ongoing funding to enable them to play an annual game in the Pilbara.