We like baseball, but we rarely think about other nations’ attitudes towards this activity. According to the statistics, almost 10 billion people worldwide like playing baseball, and even more people adore watching it. The majority of people don’t go deep into this information, but we decided to do it. The USA considers baseball a national sport, but only a few people know something about its history. There isn’t so much information about it. Scientists state that baseball emerged from a game popular in Great Britain and Ireland but not in the USA. This game was called rounders and presupposed players hitting a small ball with a bat (plastic, metal, or wooden).
Immigrants took this game to Canada, and it started to spread through the country. Modern baseball is the result of numerous changes and transformations. Now, after you gained an insight into the history of this game, you’re ready to explore the countries that love baseball.
- The United States
We’ve mentioned this fact at the beginning of the article, but we couldn’t omit it here. No person disagrees with the fact that baseball is the most popular and the most beloved game in America. The National Sporting Goods Association states that the number of US citizens who play baseball regularly exceeds 26 million. No wonder that Major League Baseball and other professional leagues appeared here. The number of colleges that offer their students to participate in baseball teams is also high, and it’s another indicator of the game’s popularity.
If you plan to enter college, you may consider playing baseball. Besides being the way to stay physically active, baseball is a way to become a pro athlete. Of course, they also should maintain a high level of academic achievements. The ordinary student usually asks an expert: “Please, write an essay for me,” and continues enjoying life and doing sports.
You may be surprised, but Cuba has a rich baseball history. Cuba can be proud of its baseball league because it’s the first former league that was formed beyond the USA. All Cuban people who are crazy about baseball should be obliged to Nemesio Gulliot. That’s the person who brought the first bat and ball to Cube and held the first Cuban championship. In 1899 Cuban baseball became international, and its team started to compete with other countries. By the way, Cuba had some amateur leagues in the 20th century. Nowadays, the Cuban national team exists. Recently they tried to qualify for the Olympics but failed.
- Dominican Republic
Baseball is the most popular sport in this country. Cuban immigrants introduced this sport to Dominicans, and after World War II, Dominican Republic established its own professional baseball league. To be exact, Dominican Professional Baseball League was founded in 1951, and now it consists of six teams and is the highest league in the whole country. They compete at their championships and participate in international tournaments: Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic. By the way, the percentage of baseball players of Dominican origin in MLB is the highest. In addition, the Dominican Republic is a regular participant of the Caribbean Series — a tournament for teams from Latin America.
The Mexican League was established in 1925, although the first resurgence in popularity occurred long before this event, in 1880. There’s no consensus as to the origin of this game in Mexico. American soldiers have probably introduced this game to Mexican locals. People played it at amateur level up to 1925. Nowadays, Mexican League has 16 teams, but in 1925 the number of teams was 6. This tendency shows that baseball was getting more and more popular among Mexican people.
It would be weird if the country that gave the baseball to the world didn’t have its own baseball team. 19th-century documents contain mentions of both rounders and baseball. However, in 1892 British and Welsh sports associations decided to make baseball a distinct sport. American baseball teams had a strong influence on the development of British baseball since they traveled across Britain at the end of the 19th century. That’s why the British style of playing resembled American a lot, but these differences disappeared with time. British baseball experienced a decline in popularity at the end of the 20th century. Now Welsh Baseball Union works on introducing this sport to school students, and there are some results.
- South Korea
Baseball even managed to get to Asian countries and gain popularity there. South Korea got acquainted with the game a little later than Europe and Latin America, but it didn’t prevent the country from achieving success in it. KBO League is the most prestigious league in South Korea. It was founded no so long ago, in 1982. It was the birth of professional baseball. Those who are interested in baseball have heard about the Kia Tigers, a Korean professional team that managed to win a national championship with an 11-0 record. Many Korean baseball players started to play for American teams and compete at MLB: Chan Ho Park, Byung-Hyun, Jung-ho Kang, and many others.