5 Baseball Leagues from Around the World


Chinese Baseball League

Members of China's Beijing Tigers baseball team cheer on a teammate in 2003.
Members of China's Beijing Tigers baseball team cheer on a teammate in 2003.
Natalie Behring-Chisholm/News/Getty Images

You might be surprised to learn that China has a thriving baseball league. Well, it certainly wasn't always that way.

A baseball club was first formed in Shanghai in 1863, and baseball began booming in China. They even placed second in the Greater Asia Baseball Tournament in 1915. All that changed under Mao; Western culture and influences were forbidden, and baseball was no different. After Mao's death, there was another wave of interest in Chinese baseball. A stadium was constructed in Tianjin in 1986. In 2002, an official league, the China Baseball League, was created. Four teams played a month-long season. The league now has six clubs and a growing schedule.

Their national team is also ranked 16th in the world -- pretty good for a team drawing from a league that's only existed for ten years.

Author's Note: 5 Baseball Leagues From Around the World

My only regret is that we couldn't discuss 20 more global baseball leagues. Countries like Nepal, Cambodia, Georgia and many more all have national teams that are surprising, and a history of baseball that can sometimes be traced back to one lone individual trying to start a game. For more information, visit the International Baseball Federation's Web site to learn more about global leagues and teams.

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