Baseball and softball

Authored by: Christina Villalon

Routledge Handbook of Global Sport

Print publication date:  January  2020
Online publication date:  January  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138887237
eBook ISBN: 9781315714264
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315714264-18

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Abstract

Baseball and softball hold a special cultural place in the American sport landscape. Dubbed “American’s past-time,” baseball is oldest of the major sports developed in the US. Both sports have evolved over the years at both the professional and recreation levels in terms of demographics, facilities and spectatorship. Despite their popularity, neither sport is currently included in the program for the summer Olympic Games. While baseball and softball are still iconic American sports, they have spread across the globe through various colonial, military, political and economic movements. Baseball and softball are major sports in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and east Asia, contributing unique cultural characteristics. With highly developed infrastructure and professional leagues, world baseball has become more competitive in recent decades. Still, Major League Baseball (MLB) in the US is the dominant professional league, drawing on talented players from around the world and reaching global broadcast markets.

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