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The Popularity Of Baseball In Europe

The Popularity Of Baseball In Europe

By on Dec 7, 2016 in Baseball |

As surprising as it may sound to the unaccustomed American ears, people in Europe do not know anything about baseball, or at least, not much, and they are not even remotely interested in learning anything. Admittedly, things are changing in the recent years, but the process of change is slow and long-lasting. Baseball has a special place in the lives of US citizens, and it is, in a way, our traditional sport. However, we fail to spread our enthusiasm across the Atlantic, and Europe remains immune to the baseball virus.

But, one interesting fact is that baseball was born in Europe, and not in the USA. Due to a recent discovery, we now know that the first written reference to the game “Bass Ball” comes from England (Surrey, 1749) and that the Prince of Wales was participating in that event. However, it seems that football was more attractive to the European enthusiasts while people in the United States continued evolving and improving the game with nine innings and no ties.


How Baseball Stands In The Rest Of The World

The popularity of baseball is in a steady decline for an extended period, and this is a major issue for people who are in charge of organizing international competitions. They have to find the way of attracting new audiences and new investors, and it seems that Europe is the perfect opportunity for saving the game and increasing the numbers of players and spectators.

Some other regions of the world are also crazy about the game, and nations like Japan, South Korea, Cuba, Puerto Rico, or the Dominican Republic are well-known for their love of baseball. These countries have national leagues and successful competitions, and they also make good results when facing international opponents. But, when it comes to Europe, only Italy and Holland seem to be “interested” in playing professional baseball, and this is a significant problem for the associations that govern the baseball world.


The Reasons For The Lack Of Interest

The average European citizen is perhaps familiar with the terms such as “Dodgers,” “Yankees,” “Wrigley Field,” etc. but it is hard to find a person that would love to spend a few hours watching a game of MLB baseball. Of course, this is perhaps a bit exaggerated since there are professional baseball leagues in several countries there, but they are usually made up of a relatively small number of enthusiasts.

Lack of investments is one important reason why baseball is not popular across the Atlantic, but some other factors are at play here as well. For instance, baseball has no appeal among children, and the actual length of the game is an element that drives people away. Public apathy is a strong and powerful enemy, and it will take a lot of time and effort to change people’s mindsets and make them see how exciting and entertaining this game can be. Baseball is a fun and interesting sport, and it is just a matter of time before it becomes a global phenomenon.