March 28, 2017

Baseball Beyond Borders

August 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball Beyond Borders CoverBetween 1998 and 2012, the international players participating on teams in MLB increased from approximately twenty to twenty-seven percent. After finishing their careers, a fraction of them had opportunities to be full or part time employees in the front offices of American or National League (AL or NL) teams. Some former ballplayers decided to become coaches, managers, scouts, and even executives of major or minor league baseball franchises while others joined MLB’s administrative staff. In short, diversity and globalization are trends that, in different ways, influence professional baseball across the world.

Reported by print and online media, a number of conflicts, disputes, and failures occur with respect to professional but young athletes who leave their home to live and play for baseball teams in the U.S. Besides cultural, economic, and language barriers they encounter, there are such problems as discrimination, racism, drug and alcohol abuse, differences in customs, politics, and traditions, and not enough assets, money, and resources to adequately assist, educate, and train them.

Published by Scarecrow Press in October 2013, Baseball Beyond Borders identifies, groups, and analyzes the nationalities and careers of foreign-born and Puerto Rican (immigrants) baseball coaches, managers, ballplayers, and officials including team executives, owners, and scouts of franchises in the AL and NL for various MLB seasons and different decades from 1901 to 2012. Furthermore, it reveals the impact and significance of these coaches, managers, ballplayers, and officials on teams in baseball’s minor league system. The following is an overview of the book’s most important contents.[1]

Chapter 1 discusses the culture of baseball especially within countries where it is popular and very prominent as an amateur and/or professional team sport. Economic, political, and social events in the historical development of these nations indicate why they are unique and became places for baseball to exist and perhaps thrive as an activity while receiving support from their public and private sectors. In fact, as the game developed and gradually expanded there, it attracted athletes, fans, money, and resources. That contributed to the growth of baseball and its globalization since the mid-to-late nineteenth century.

Chapter 2 identifies and highlights the performances of a number of immigrant baseball players and their role on one or more teams in MLB’s AL. It, in part, denotes the circumstances for why and when some of them migrated to the U.S. and how they and others overcame problems that affected their personal lives and careers to perform as hitters, pitchers, catchers, infielders, and outfielders. As discussed in the chapter, a few of these ballplayers had exceptional skills and enough accomplishments for election into the Baseball Hall of Fame at its site in Cooperstown, Pennsylvania.

Chapter 3 names and focuses on those international baseball players that, for one reason or another, decided to sign contracts and then have careers with various MLB teams primarily in the NL. Because of their attitude, talent, and achievements in baseball games as teenagers and/or young adults, these athletes took advantage of opportunities while in their home country to join NL clubs and play in regular season games, league playoffs, and/or during World Series against AL teams. As such, this chapter reveals why some players excelled as competitors and later earned enough votes for entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Chapter 4 contains information about the contribution of foreign and Puerto Rican men and women who worked in various administrative positions of MLB franchises or coached, managed, and/or owned a big league team. They and others, meanwhile, may have also been employees for years as officials in the central office of the AL, NL, and/or MLB. Indeed, some of them retired after playing many seasons for teams. Meanwhile, a few had enough experience, knowledge, and motivation to be competent and become an effective administrator, executive, or simply a member of an organization’s front office staff or baseball operations. Due to their exposure, leadership, and crucial role with MLB teams, field managers were most interesting to study and evaluate.

Chapter 5 features immigrants into the U.S., who during their years in the sport, served as coaches, managers, and players of teams in minor league baseball. In the literature, there is data, statistics, and personal information about these individuals and their accomplishments. Baseball Beyond Borders highlights and examines the contributions of these men and focuses on interesting aspects of their careers.

Chapter 6 summarizes the important contents of other chapters. In part, it denotes issues and problems of foreigners who, for one reason or another, decide to leave their homes in foreign countries and Puerto Rico to play for, or become employed by, franchises in MLB or minor league baseball. This chapter predicts their role and impact while they perform for organizations in American professional baseball during 2014 and years thereafter.

After the Conclusion, there is an Appendix, Bibliography, Index, and an overview About the Author. Each is a key element of Baseball Beyond Borders. In the Appendix, for example, are tables of quantitative data and qualitative information that supplement concepts and themes discussed in the chapters. The Bibliography cites readings from different sources. The Index lists important people, places, and topics for readers to locate within the book. About the Author highlights the author’s experiences. In short, these are necessary sections to include because they reveal the book’s organization and help explain its contents.

 


[1] For Frank Jozsa’s other baseball books see Relocating Teams and Expanding Leagues in Professional Sports: How the Major League Respond to Market Conditions (Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 1999), and also published by McFarland & Company, Baseball, Inc.: The National Pastime as Big Business (2006), Baseball in Crisis: Spiraling Costs, Bad Behavior, Uncertain Future (2008), and Major League Baseball Expansions and Relocations: A History, 1876-2008 (2010).

 

 

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