5 Baseball Leagues from Around the World

Take me out to the ballgame ... in Croatia? See more sports pictures.

It's America's pastime, Latin America's obsession and ... Croatia's hobby? Indeed, when you think of baseball, there are only a few countries that immediately spring to mind as avid participants in the game.

But it turns out that baseball is actually quite the thriving enterprise around the world. In the next few pages, we'll tell you about some baseball leagues (or at least organized baseball associations) that have popped up across the globe.

Some leagues aren't so unexpected (Japan), but they have rabid followers and an approach to the game that takes into account their own culture. Other leagues are pretty shocking -- not just for existing, but for being real contenders on an international stage. We'll also check out how baseball came to some unlikely places.

So tighten your batting glove and knock the dirt off your cleats as we travel the world to find some of the most interesting -- and surprising -- global baseball leagues.