General Question

occ's avatar

Why did baseball catch on in Japan, Cuba, and the D.R., but not in other countries?

Asked by occ (4007 points ) July 10th, 2007

Are there other countries besides America, Canada, Cuba and Japan where baseball is a very popular sport? Also, why did soccer captivate the rest of the world but never became big in the U.S.

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8 Answers

Gavel's avatar

Being a Brit, I don't understand baseball - I went to a game once with teams playing at a summer camp in Florida (that's where we sad Brits go for holidays). It seemed to me to be a celebration of beer, peanuts, hot dogs and not much else.
Surely the answer is simple: wherever Yanks were based for whatever reason, they took the sport with them and the locals took it over.
Soccer never made it in the U.S.because they have football - another sport I don't understand. Give me rugby every day. Now there's a man's sport!

evander's avatar

Baseball is big in Venezuela. It is also played and followed in other Latin American countries (for example Mexico), but obviously not like soccer.

Since the 1994 World Cup that took place in the US there has been much more of an interest in soccer in the US. It is one of the fastest growing youth sports, and there is much more investment in competitive, youth development leagues. This investment is starting to bring results on the international level as the US national team is much more competitive than they used to be. They just won the Copa de Oro or Gold Cup tournament against Mexico a few weeks ago, and have been ranked in the top 5 internationally--something that was unheard of a decade ago. Also, many big name international players are starting to come and play in the US professional leagues. David Beckham, one of the worlds best and most famous players, just made his US debut.

JCS's avatar

"Baseball came to Cuba in the 1860's. Brought by Cubans who studied in the United States and American sailors in Cuban ports. It quickly spread through the island and took heart with the Cuban people who were fighting for their independence from Spain."

http://www.cubanball.com/history.html

So maybe Cubans at the time associated soccer with colonialist Spain?

GD_Kimble's avatar

The Japanese also learned to play baseball from American GIs stationed there.

Gavel's avatar

However, everything is about to change - David Beckham has arrived to teach all America how to play soccer and his wife will be showing girls how to pout.

winblowzxp's avatar

@Gavel I’d love to learn to play rugby. I’d probably be more interested in League.

TheDuce's avatar

Baseball didn’t catch on in many other places because it’s not a sport that can be played, or even learned, easily. One needs much more equipment for it that almost any other sport (Excepting American Football, which again, is prevalent only in the U.S) and a dedicated space is also needed.

With soccer, all you need is a ball and goal. Baseball requires a ball, a field with specifically placed patches of dirt, bases, bats, helmets, gloves… It’s just that in countries with less wealth than the U.S, soccer is a sport that anyone can pick up and play anywhere.

Baseball was introduced and taught everywhere it is currently played. A lot of people outside if baseball playing countries just don’t want to go out of there way to learn baseball because it would be a lot of trouble and they already have easily accessible sports available to them. Which I personally think is a shame, because Baseball is an amazing sport which I absolutely love.

xenonman's avatar

I know that it did also take hold in Mexico, Venezuela, and Taiwan.

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