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December 1, 2014

The world of baseball or baseball of the world?

Baseball is being played around the world. It used to be an American dream. Now it’s a global dream.

Chad Kreuter

What a great way to state the obvious – even though people try to diminish the importance of baseball in the United States in the recent years, what we witness today is an extreme popularity of this beautiful game all around the World.

According to International Baseball Federation (IBAF) there are 35 million registered ball players in 122 countries worldwide.

Baseball is often called the “America’s Pastime” because during the late 19th and early 20th century it was probably the most widely played sport in the country.

I claim that Base Ball owes its prestige as our National Game to the fact that as no other form of sport it is the exponent of American Courage, Confidence, Combativeness; American Dash, Discipline, Determination; American Energy, Eagerness, Enthusiasm; American Pluck, Persistency, Performance; American Spirit, Sagacity, Success; American Vim, Vigor, Virility.

Base Ball is the American Game par excellence because its playing demands Brain and Brawn, and American manhood supplies these ingredients in quantity sufficient to spread over the entire continent.

Albert Spalding

However, baseball is well established in several other countries as well.

Baseball is a number one sport in Japan and commonly considered the national sport in Taiwan and theofficial sport of Cuba. It is also by far the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic today. After the United States, the Dominican Republic has the second-highest number of baseball players in Major League Baseball (MLB). Baseball is one of the most important sports in countries like Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and South Korea. U.S. military men introduced the game of baseball during the World Wars even to some smaller European countries like Croatia and baseball in Europe today is still gaining momentum. Nowadays, new ball clubs and leagues are popping up also across Africa, and Chinese baseball league is growing ever stronger.

It is interesting to see that baseball is on the rise even within India’s cricket-crazy culture. To learn more about this phenomenon, we highly recommend seeing the new Disney movie Million Dollar Arm that is based on “the most amazing story in the history of sports”.

Ernie Harwell once said that baseball is a sport, business —and sometimes even religion.

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We are most confident that baseball is a global game that is here to stay.

Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average.

Mark Kramer

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