WELCOME TO THE BRITISH BASEBALL GUIDE
This guide is brought to you by Niall Gallagher and Graham Scott. Niall was born in Dublin, Ireland, grew up in the UK and has since returned to Dublin. Graham is a native of Los Angeles, California and now lives in the UK.
British and Baseball? Isn't that an oxymoron? You'd be forgiven for thinking so, but a little known fact is that the earliest recorded account of a baseball game being played was in fact in Guildford, Surrey, right here in the United Kingdom in the year 1749 and one of the players was the Prince of Wales. It is thought that baseball originated from the British game known as "rounders" (an 18th century publication refers to rounders as "base ball"), and it was subsequently taken Stateside by English settlers. While the modern game of baseball appears to have been invented in England, baseball in Britain never developed into a widely participated or spectated sport like its other bat-and-ball relative, cricket.
The United States of America is where baseball took off as we all know, and as such many people in other countries have not had much exposure to it. Until recent years there was no television coverage of it in the UK, and only those visiting America would ever have had any reason or opportunity to watch a game on TV or in person. Niall and Graham became friends at the University of East Anglia and often watched Channel 5's late night MLB coverage, which was when Niall first started watching baseball but Graham was a seasoned veteran by this stage, having grown up in the U.S. The programme began in 1997 and continued until 2009 when it was cancelled by Channel 5 as part of their cost-cutting measures.
Although Channel 5's coverage has ended, there are still options to watch baseball on TV or online in the UK, but these are transmissions borrowed from U.S. stations and as such they obviously have no obligation to cater for a non-American audience and the analysts assume the audience has at least a basic grasp of the sport. Once you're up to speed you can happily watch the American coverage and understand what's happening, but for those starting out our aim is to provide a beginner's guide.
We call this the British Baseball Guide but it can equally apply to any English-speakers living outside of the U.S. and Canada, as the guide is pretty universal.
For the record Niall is a Seattle Mariners fan, and Graham - as a native Californian - supports the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Thanks for visiting!