The Auckland Tuatara is a professional baseball team in the Australian Baseball League based in Auckland, New Zealand. They are the only team from New Zealand to compete in the ABL, and one of two expansion teams that entered the league in the 2018/19 season.
2019–20 Australian Baseball League season
|League||Australian Baseball League|
|City||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Ballpark||North Harbour Stadium|
|Owner||Baseball New Zealand|
|General Manager||Regan Wood|
Prior to the team's foundation in 2018, Baseball New Zealand, the country's governing body of the sport of baseball, held talks starting in 2009 regarding the prospects of adding a New Zealand-based team in the Australian Baseball League. In November 2017, the league decided to expand to eight teams beginning in the 2018/19 season, and Baseball New Zealand was officially awarded a spot in the competition.
On 26 August 2018, the club's name was announced as the Auckland Tuatara, named after the oldest surviving species endemic to the country. According to one of the team's board members, Brett O'Riley, the tuatara was chosen as the name in order to celebrate the resilience of the ancient reptiles, and to raise awareness of New Zealand's commitment to species protection. The club's colours, teal and navy blue, are representative of the region's marine heritage. The Tuatara played its home games at McLeod Park in Te Atatu South for the 2018/19 season, and moved to an expanded QBE Stadium in Albany for the 2019/20 season and beyond. For baseball a section of seating was permanently removed and replaced by an outfield wall which is termed The Teal monster.
Three days before the start of the 2019–2020 season, Tuatara player Ryan Costello was found dead in his sleep by teammates on November 18, 2019. Players wore 'RC' on their game jersey for the season in his memory.
Auckland Tuatara roster - 2019-20 ABL
|Active Roster||Reassigned Players||Coaching staff|
: 7-day disabled list
|25 December 2019|
- Penrose, David (26 August 2018). "Auckland reveals name and colours". TheABL.com.au. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Reive, Christopher (26 August 2018). "Baseball: Auckland Tuatara officially unveiled as New Zealand entry to Australian Baseball League". NZ Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Penrose, David (26 August 2018). "Mintz named first Tuatara manager". TheABL.com.au. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Daren Smith (18 November 2019). "Twins' Costello found dead in New Zealand". MiLB.com. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- "Baseball: Auckland Tuatara players mourning after death of third baseman Ryan Costello". New Zealand Herald. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.