Where is Baseball Played Around the World?

Baseball is popular around the world! Learn about some notable professional leagues outside North America & how they intersect with US Major Leagues.

Where is Baseball Played Around the World?

Baseball is a popular sport in North America, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia, particularly in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. It is a game played with a bat, a ball, and gloves between two teams of nine players each on a field with four white bases arranged in a diamond shape. Teams alternate positions as batters (offensive) and outfielders (defense), swapping places when three members of the batting team are “sent off”. As batters, players try to hit the ball out of reach of the field team and make a full circuit around the bases for a “run”.

The team that scores the most runs in nine innings (times at bat) wins the game.


also had an impact on the national calendar. With the rise of industrialization, standardized office or factory clock time deprived people of the past experience of time in its rich associations with the hours of the day, the natural rhythms of the seasons, and the traditional church calendar. However, for Americans, the opening of the baseball training season marked the arrival of spring, the regular-season game meant summer, and the World Series marked the arrival of autumn.

In winter, baseball fans participated in “hot” leagues, remembering past and big games and speculating on what the next season had to offer. While baseball possessed enormous integrating powers, it also reflected major social and cultural divisions. Until the first decades of the 20th century, middle-class evangelical Protestants viewed sports with deep suspicion. They associated baseball, or at least its professional version, with those who don't do well, immigrants, working class people, alcohol consumption, gambling, and general fuss.

However, these same qualities provided a foothold for ethnic groups from ghettos to rise up. They generally found less discrimination in baseball (as well as other commercial entertainment venues) than in more “respectable” occupations. In the 19th century, Irish and German Americans shone so brightly in professional baseball that some observers wondered if they had a special ability to play it. But even if it couldn't heal conflicts stemming from fundamental social divisions, baseball showed an extraordinary capacity to foster ties.

In the 1850s, young artisans and employees often displaced in cities found their way of life changing rapidly due to industrialization. They conceived of themselves as members of what was known as the “baseball fraternity”. Like volunteer fire departments and militia units at that time, they donned special uniforms and developed their own rituals when playing baseball. This shared experience strengthened occupational, ethnic and racial identities.

Butchers, typographers, cartoonists, masons and even clergymen organized baseball clubs as did Irish Americans, German Americans and African Americans. Baseball parks became important local civic monuments and repositories of collective memories. The first parks were flimsy wooden structures built in Jerrys but between 1909 and 1923 some 15 major league clubs built new and more permanent parks made from steel and concrete. These buildings were similar to large public buildings such as skyscrapers and railway terminals; local residents proudly pointed to them as evidence of their city's size and achievements.

Seeing them as retreats from industrial city noise, dirt and misery; owners gave them pastoral names such as Ebbets Field, Sportsman's Park and Polo Grounds but with construction of multi-sport facilities in 60s and 70s urban futuristic names such as Astrodome predominated like Kingdome. In a new era of park construction in 1990s designers tried to recover atmosphere of previous times by designing “retro parks”; a term that was an oxymoron because while new parks offered fan intimacy of old parks they also provided modern amenities such as escalators climate-controlled rooms high-tech audiovisual systems Disney-style play areas for children space for numerous retail outlets etc. Growing corporate influence in game was reflected in park names such as Network Associates Stadium Bank One Ballpark etc. After middle of 20th century baseball's claim to be game of United States rested on more precarious foundations than past due to competition from other professional sports (especially field football) but even more from massive conversion of Americans from public to private entertainment at home.

Attendance as percentage of population fell at all levels of baseball minor leagues became shell of old self hundreds semi-professional amateur teams retired. In 1990s player strikes free agency disparities in competition rising cost attending games added to major league baseball's problems but sport continued to show remarkable resilience; attendance at professional games improved attendance at minor league games close to World War II records turn century. As 21st century opened up baseball still faced serious problems but sport gaining popularity around world one could still strongly advocate for it to hold special place hearts minds American people. But even beyond Canada's major league presence baseball is played all over world with leagues organized several countries let's take look some most notable professional leagues other countries how they intersect with baseball United States.

This by no means exhaustive list rather look at some countries most influenced by major leagues have most influence on them. Shohei Ohtani two-way player Angels pitcher batsman one most well-known active players Nippon Professional Baseball Suzuki mentioned above retired March this year with 3 089 career hits addition to...

Peggy Komo
Peggy Komo

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