Thursday, September 5, 2013

Major League Basball to the Netherlands?

Apparently Major League Baseball wants to start playing games in Europe, and has chosen Hoofddorp, a small town just outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands This is not as surprising as it sounds as the Netherlands have achieved impressive baseball results over the years: twenty times European Champion and good results at World Championships. See my previous posts: The Netherlands at the World Baseball Classic and  Dutch Win Baseball World Cup. To a large extent these results have been made possible by a strong presence of players from the Dutch Caribbean islands, some of whom also play or have played in MLB.   However, baseball is a still a very small sport in the Netherlands, with 23,000 members of which half play softball. Compare this to the over one million soccer members, a quarter of million field hockey members, and millions of people skating and cycling. But maybe MLB knowing that Holland has always been a good place for American companies to start their European expansion, would offer a bridgehead for Major League Baseball as well. For a complete report, read Building It, and Hoping the Big Leagues Come in The New York Times.

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