Baseball has always been viewed as America’s “past time” and rightfully so as it found its roots here in the States. But over the last several decades baseball has become more and more popular in other countries across the world.
So much so that a lot of the top MLB players are from other countries like the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Japan and Puerto Rico. There are still plenty of MLB players that are from the United States, but no one can deny how global the sport has become.
One could even argue that America is a few steps behind a few other countries as the sport has seen so much talent come from non-American countries in the recent past.
One thing that would enhance the baseball viewing experience would be to somehow devise a tournament or competition in baseball that is the equivalent of the UEFA Champions League in soccer. The Champions League is the big competition that comes every year and runs alongside the regular season for every other soccer league, seeing the top teams in Europe battle to be crowned the best team in the continent.
Imagine your favorite MLB team representing the USA in a Champions League for baseball. A possible matchup with top MLB teams and other top teams from other countries, all with the purpose of determining who the best baseball team in the world is.
Think about it. Baseball is a global sport now and every country has their own league that showcases its own talent.
Of course it wouldn’t be as big as soccer’s Champions League setup, but it would at least give the chance to see the sport become even more globally connected.
I imagine that the early years would be dominated by the MLB teams, but who knows, there are probably some really good teams in Japan that might be able to hold their own in a series against an American team. Or maybe there are some teams in the Dominican that could compete and make a name for themselves against MLB teams, the possibilities are endless.
It would be difficult to organize (and probably impossible), but it would be a fresh take on a sport that can sometimes be very — dare I say — boring.
How cool would it be to see your favorite team take a break from the regular MLB season and face off against a team from another country,? Let’s be real, it would be amazing.
In soccer you have teams from several different countries square off to see who is the best team in all of Europe. For baseball they would probably have to make it throughout the whole world to garner bigger turnouts, but in a dream scenario I suppose anything is possible, right?
Sure, I am talking crazy at this point. But baseball is probably the next best sport to possibly see something similar to the Champions League in.
I suppose hockey could have some solid competition between teams from different countries.
Basketball wouldn’t work, I’m pretty sure every good player in the world already plays in the NBA. And don’t even think about football — that will never happen.
If any sport were to ever have something similar to the Champions League it would have to be baseball.
And as much as I know it will probably never happen, it is something still fun to dream about.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.