Here are some excerpts of a column I wrote for International
Each summer boys and girls in the United States and Canada sit in the bleachers with their families and watch Major League Baseball. They eat hot dogs, sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and cheer loudly as their favorite players hit homeruns and turn double plays. But, while Major League Baseball only plays its games in North America, its history is being made and new standards are being set by players from all over the world.
During a recent trip to England, I turned on the television and was excited to see Major league Baseball on the screen. I had realized that many of the best players in baseball are from outside North America, but I never realized how the popularity of baseball is growing around the world. From Latin America to Japan to Eastern Europe, people young and old are grabbing mitts and lacing up their cleats in hopes of making the big leagues. Baseball is on its way to becoming a "world game."
What is the future of baseball around the world? Will the influence of players from outside of the U.S. continue to shape the way baseball is being played? Will Major League Baseball play regular season games abroad? Will a new century find more stadiums and more young players popping up in new countries on all continents?. . .
. . . Prior to each game I will meet with team management and discuss the state of baseball and its influences on the world. Then I will join my fellow fans in the stands and watch players from every corner of the globe. I will try to understand the influence that players such as Hideo Nomo or Edgar Martinez have on Major League Baseball as they bring new fans and different interests to the ballpark. And, I will try to determine how fans and management feel about the prospects of international play and expansion around the world.
Baseball is growing around the world and in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere -- young and old, from every country, in every language imaginable. Use The Great American Baseball trip to re-live your fondest baseball memories or live out your grandest baseball dreams. . .