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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Baseball spread beyond US borders, taking hold in the Caribbean and parts of the Pacific, but never attained the global influence that British sport achieved. A. G. Spalding’s efforts to export the game and, with it, “American” values, via his 1888–1889 circumnavigation of the world met with little success. Baseball could not dislodge British football, rugby, and cricket, which had already gained purchase abroad due to Britain’s larger global presence. In the Caribbean, where baseball became the dominant sport, Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and other countries made the game into their own national pastimes. Baseball there, open to players of all races and nations, modeled the democratic version of sport that would not exist in US pro leagues until integration after World War II. Since then, Major League Baseball has attracted ever-greater numbers of players from abroad, first from the Caribbean and more recently from Japan and Asia.

Keywords: baseball, globalization, race, A. G. Spalding, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Japan, Jorge Pasquel

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