Thursday, April 22, 2010

Opening day from a different perspective

One of the places where baseball is getting more popular all the time is in Africa. A lot of countries are playing, and one of the best programs is in South Africa. There have been South Africans who have, and are now, had the opportunity to play minor league baseball, although none have made the big jump yet. South Africa has also participated in both World Baseball Classics. While not performing well, they weren't the worst team and didn't embarrass themselves.

One of the ways for baseball to become more popular in places not normally known for the game is publicity. Especially big press in major papers. While it isn't about South African baseball, The Daily Maverick has a fantastic write-up about the start of the Major League baseball season. The writer, J Brooks Spector, begins the piece with a nice tribute:
Across the big ocean, baseball's many fans are preparing for another mouth-watering season of action. But baseball, like cricket, is also much more than just about hitting and catching a ball. It is a true timeless metaphor for American life.
He then follows it up with the last few stanzas of Casey at the Bat, and writes about the history of the game in the states, some of the stars, some of the issues (segregation) and does a fantastic job of relating what baseball is. Mr Spector obviously knows about baseball, and what the start of the season means:
The umpires yell, “Play ball!” – the crowds roar again and another year of America’s cycle begins anew.
Yep, couldn't agree more. An entertaing read that you should really take a look at.

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