Major League Baseball, the only leading entity in baseball across the globe, is looking to popularise the game in India through fan engagement and game development.
Baseball, a hugely popular sport in the United States of America, is now looking to find a place in Indian hearts. “We think everybody in India is a baseball fan, they just don’t know it yet. We are trying to show that it’s a fun game and is similar to cricket. We think baseball can exist very nicely with cricket and all the other sports here,” said Jim Small, MLB Senior Vice President, International.
The organisation has its task cut out and has planned to start with programs such as Million Dollar Arm and MLB First Pitch. The former will be held this year from September to December, with thousands of participants competing to earn a tryout with a Major League team.
The MLB First Pitch is a grassroots program where primary school children, from 300 schools across New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai will get an opportunity to learn the sport through workshops conducted by MLB International coaches.
Indian Premier League team Delhi Capital’s assistant coach, Mohammad Kaif, was also present at the launch. In a fun activity with Jim, he exchanged his franchise jersey with an MLB one and said: “I am very happy to be associated with Major League Baseball on the behalf of Delhi Capitals. Cricket and Baseball have quite a few things in common. Growing up playing cricket, we always knew there was a similar sport played in the United States, but never imagined it would come to India one day. Delhi Capitals is delighted to help support the MLB brand and introduce India to a new sport.”