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The Globalization of America’s National Pastime. Geography of Sports Spring 2009. Introduction. Baseball has long been considered the “National Pastime” of the United States Over the last 50 years, baseball has diffused beyond the borders of the United States. Research Questions:

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  • Baseball has long been considered the “National Pastime” of the United States
  • Over the last 50 years, baseball has diffused beyond the borders of the United States.
  • Research Questions:
    • How has the global distribution of baseball talent changed in the last 50 years?
      • Major League Baseball Rosters
      • Nations that have been successful in International competition.
    • What impact has this change had on the African-American players.
baseball and globalization
Baseball and Globalization
  • Baseball has been very active in promoting the game internationally.
  • Major League Baseball Initiatives
    • Regular Season and Pre-Season games overseas
    • Minor League baseball in Mexico
    • Active scouting of Latin America
    • World Baseball Classic
    • Televising Events internationally
      • ESPN Deportes
baseball and ethnicity
Baseball and Ethnicity
  • African-Americans
    • 1st African-Americans played baseball in the late 1800s
      • Military, College, and Company Teams
    • A few found their way to some of the earliest professional teams
      • Forced out by Racism and Jim Crow by 1900
    • Barnstorming Teams of the early 1900s
the negro league
The Negro League
  • 1920 – Andrew “Rube” Foster organized a leagues for the African-American Players
    • Negro National League
    • Midwestern Teams – Chicago, Kansas City
    • Paseo YMCA
    • Rival leagues
      • East and Southern States
  • Negro leagues started to decline in the 1940s
    • Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers
    • The last team folded in 1960
  • Negro League Musuem – Kansas City’s 18th and Vine District
    • Opened in 1990 – Buck O’Neil
baseball and ethnicity6
Baseball and Ethnicity
  • Latino baseball players first entered the Major Leagues in the early 1900s.
  • Baseball broke the color barrier in 1947 when Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Following Jackie Robinson, the number of African-American and Latino baseball players rapidly increased.
the latino game
The Latino Game
  • Latin America is a divided region when it comes to sports.
    • Caribbean and Venezuela
  • As early as 1902, Latino baseball players had started making an imprint on Major League Baseball.
    • Cuban Migrants
    • Luis Castro
baseball a historic perspective
Baseball: A Historic Perspective
  • 1950s – Further strengthening of the Latino presence in Major League Baseball
    • Cuban Outfielder – Minnie Minoso
      • First to play in 5 decades
    • First All Star
      • Alfonso Carrasquel – 1951
    • 1954 – Mexican Beto Avila won the A.L Batting Title
  • Links to the African-American influence in Baseball
the latino game10
The Latino Game
  • By the 1960s, Latinos were becoming stars in the major leagues.
  • Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates was the first Latino to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • Since then, eight other Latino players have been inducted.
  • In 2003, Latino players and coaches won almost every major award in baseball.
baseball a historic perspective11
Baseball: A Historic Perspective
  • 1960s Major Players
    • Roberto Clemente – Puerto Rico
    • Orlando Cepeda – Puerto Rico
    • Juan Marichal – Dominican Republic
      • 1st Latino Pitcher into the Hall of Fame
  • Roberto Clemente – Pittsburgh Pirates
    • 1st Latino to be elected to the Hall of Fame (1973)
    • 12 Time All Star
    • 3000 Hits
    • Four Batting Titles
    • Lifetime Batting Average of .317
baseball a historic perspective12
Baseball: A Historic Perspective
  • 1970s
    • Rod Carew – Panama
      • 7 Batting Titles
    • Luis Tiant – Cuba
    • David Concepcion (Venezuela)
    • Tony Perez (Cuba)
baseball a historic perspective13
Baseball: A Historic Perspective
  • 1980s
    • Establishment of Dominican Dominance
    • Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)
    • Rise of Catchers
      • Tony Pena (DR), Benito Santiago (Puerto Rico), Sandy Alomar (Puerto Rico)
    • Jose Canseco (Cuba) – First Latino to hit 400 Home Runs
geographic distribution of latino players
Geographic Distribution of Latino Players
  • The earliest Latino players were from Cuba.
  • Today, the Dominican Republic accounts for over 1/3 of all Latino players.
  • Over 100 Latinos make over 1 Million annually
  • Other Important Countries include:
    • Puerto Rico – 21%
    • Venezuela – 16%
    • Cuba – 12%
the asian game
The Asian Game
  • The impact of Asian born players in the Major Leagues has occurred more recently.
  • The first Asian to play professionally was the San Francisco Giants’ Masanori Murakami in the 1960s.
  • In the mid 1990s, Hideo Nomo left Japan for the L.A. Dodgers and opened the door for other Asian Players.
  • MLB has been involved in Asia as well.
international events
International Events
  • The diffusion of baseball to other regions of the world can also be seen in major international tournaments.
    • The World Baseball Classic
    • The Olympics
    • The Little League World Series
the world baseball classic
The inaugural World Baseball Classic was held in March 2006.

Hosts Cities were in The United States, Puerto Rico and Japan.

Japan defeated Cuba to win the 1st event.

Other semifinalist were Korea and Dominican Republic.

Many MLB stars played for their home country.

The 2009 version will be held in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico and will include teams from every continent.

The World Baseball Classic
the olympics
Baseball became an official Olympic sport during the 1992 Barcelona games.

½ of the 16 nations that have competed since then are from Asia and Latin America.

Cuba and Japan have had the most success for their respective continents.

The Olympics
the little league world series
The Little League World Series
  • Annually held in Williamsport, PA, the L.L. World Series hosts 8 international and 8 American Teams each year.
  • The first non-U.S. team to win was Mexico in 1957.
  • That success has been followed by a number of teams from Latin America and Asia
    • Venezuela, Netherlands Antilles
    • Taiwan, Japan
  • Data on player origin and the results of international events illustrate that baseball has diffused beyond the borders of the United States and become a international game.
  • Major League Baseball has encouraged the development of the sport in other regions of the world by hosting spring training and regular seasons games in other countries. Baseball teams have also began to scout for talent in these regions.
  • Latin American nations, especially the Caribbean nations have had the most international influence on Major League Baseball to date.
  • The infusion of Latino players in the 1980s and 1990s led to a decline in the percentage of African-American Major League players.
  • The influence of Asian born players began in the 1990s and continues to grow. This growth may decrease the percentage of Latino players in the future.
  • Latin American and Asian nations have enjoyed great success in international events such as the Olympics, The World Baseball Classic, and the Little League World Series
  • Cuba has been very successful in international events, but their production of Major League players has been limited due to governmental restrictions.