Baseball was developed in the United States and continues to be one of the most popular sports. There are several levels of baseball, ranging from the major leagues, minor leagues, youth athletics, and college-level baseball. The Major League Baseball organization runs professional sports, and the teams are split into either the National League or the American League. In total, there are 30 professional baseball teams in the MLB (with one being a Canadian team). They play a season that consists of 162 games.
While baseball has always been tremendously popular in Canada, with the first Canadian baseball game taking place in 1838, much of the play has been centered on North American sport. Canada today has one baseball team in the MLB that regularly plays against teams from the United States. In the past, several Canadian teams played in the MLB when the Canadian league merged with the MLB in 1969. The Toronto Blue Jays have won two World Series titles.
Baseball was first brought to Cuba by American soldiers. Today, the most popular sport in Cuba is baseball, and there were several leagues throughout the country until the professional sport was abolished in 1961. Today, Cuba is the site of loads of baseball talent, and many scouts will visit Cuba to recruit new players for their professional teams.
Cuban planters brought baseball to the Dominican Republic in the 1870s, and the sport has remained a popular pastime ever since. Professional baseball kicked off in 1951, and several professional teams exist within the Dominican Republic. Many professional players in the MLB are from the Dominican Republic. Despite the popularity within the country, the national Dominican Republic Team never does well in international competition.
Baseball started in Puerto Rico in 1896 when a group of men decided to start a small league. Some of the men who founded the league were Cuban and already understood the rules of the game. In 1898, Puerto Rico had its first official game. Unfortunately, with the Spanish-American War in 1899, all official baseball play stopped.
Baseball was first introduced in Japan in the 1800s, but the first professional teams weren't established until 1920. Today, baseball is one of the most popular sports in Japan, and the league contains 12 different baseball teams. Japan also has plenty of baseball success on the world stage, winning two different Olympic medals. They have also won the World Baseball tournament defeating South Korea. Several Japanese baseball players play in the United States.
Christian missionaries first brought baseball to South Korea in the 1800s, and the first national teams were formed in the 1920s. Today, baseball remains a popular sport, and South Korea participates in several World Championship competitions. Many popular and successful baseball players from South Korea now play for international teams, including teams in the MLB. South Korea has several Olympic medals, including one gold medal.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Trinidad and Tobago|
|United Arab Emirates|
Approximately 75 countries play baseball, but the top baseball-playing countries are the United States, Canada, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Japan, and South Korea.