I’ve never given a flying flip about the futures game myself, but I know that some people care, so I’ll give it a little face time here. Here’s hoping the next Griffey (minus the injuries) will be playing.
North America, Europe, Asia, Central and South America Represented in All-Star Weekend Event; Over 30 Countries Now Represented In Professional Baseball In North America
( LAUSANNE, Switzerland) – Baseball’s global growth at the highest professional level continued this week with the announcement that up-and-coming players from 12 nations will play in the 2009 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game, which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri (USA) on 12 July as part of Major League Baseball All-Star festivities.
The twelve nations – the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Italy, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Japan, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and the Netherlands Antilles – is among the most diverse in the eleven year history of the game, which will be televised in over 200 countries.
The diversity in the Futures Game, which will feature the rising stars of baseball, coupled with the latest global fan voting for the All-Star game (which has players from five different nations leading at their respective positions), further shows the sport’s global growth at the Major League level in North America.
“Every week there is another example of the rapid international growth that baseball is witnessing, whether it is a large increase in Little League participation in Europe, new school programmes in Africa or Asia, or new sponsors in Latin America,” said IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller. “The diversity in nations that will be represented during the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities is further proof that the game at the highest level is also growing quickly, with many of these younger stars already exposed to international play through the Olympics, the World Baseball Classic and other events. This will help baseball gain even more exposure in emerging nations, and it shows that the future of the sport on a global basis is very bright.”
As of this week, over 30 nations from six continents are now represented in professional major and minor league baseball in North America, the highest amount of nations in the sport’s history.
About the International Baseball Federation (IBAF)
Founded in 1938, the International Baseball Federation is a non-governmental organisation recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as administering men’s and women’s baseball at the world level. Located in Lausanne, Switzerland – the Olympic Capital – and counting 125 National Member Federations, the IBAF organises the IBAF Men’s and Women’s Baseball World Cup, the AAA (18U) and AA (16U) World Championships, the Olympic Games Baseball Tournament, and it sanctions the World Baseball Classic, among other international baseball tournaments. The IBAF works to develop and grow the game of baseball around the world. For more information, please visit www.ibaf.org.