The Globalization of Baseball

Globalization is the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. The influences of globalization can be felt in every city around the world. Technology has enabled individuals as well as organizations the ability to immerse themselves into another culture virtually at the speed of light. Understanding of different societies and cultures has become one of the leading processes of a business. Primarily there has been a greater focus on understanding the various cultures because of its ability to affect business on a global scale. In the movies Sugar, Mr.Baseball and Holy Land Hardball globalization was displayed through the differences in cultures and various aspects of the countries. Nevertheless, an organization such as the MLB seems to have grasped the understanding of the great importance in dealing with, varying cultures. By understanding the different cultures, it enables the organization to more effectively deal with the influences of globalization.

Each of these components will exhibit some form of influence depending on the various types of cultures in which the organization’s conduct business. Globalization has many driving forces, these include the idea of domination/control, business/wealth and the thought of failure. The MLB is, and has for several years, been moving to exploit the potential of this growing global community of baseball fans. The global growth of the MLB is also reflected in the growing global community of the MLB fans. As foreign players have successfully penetrated the MLB, baseball fans in many other countries follow the successes of their native-born players bringing Americans and foreigners together in mutual enjoyment of the sport. Many of these countries exhibit a strong cultural attachment to baseball, whether in the form of the MLB or local leagues and teams. The movie Sugar portrays the local Dominican team in Boca Chica where young players are trying to demonstrate their abilities to get their chance to play in America. These young men playing in the Dominican Republic brought the game of baseball to their town uniting their family, neighbors and the American people by the mutual enjoyment of the game.

This mutual enjoyment is apart of baseball’s big business mentality as they gather fans from all across the world. These fans are seen as consumers to the MLB, people that will buy their products and give them power and dominance in the marketplace. Baseball is seen as America’s pastime however, it is much more than that; it is big business, both domestically and now globally. The business of the MLB now involves accessing global markets for baseball consumers in many countries besides the United States. An example of this was in Mr. Baseball when Jack Elliot is traded by the New York Yankees to the Japanese Dragons. Japan was able to get an American superstar while the Yankees received money in the trade. By bringing stars back and forth from other countries it broadens the viewership of the MLB to more and more countries. For instances, Ichiro Suzuki was one of Japan’s biggest stars who came to the United States and succeeded. The success of Ichiro is allowing players such as Shohei Ohtani, a 2-way player for the Los Angeles Angels, to try their hand at American baseball. Ohtani is considered the modern-day Babe Ruth due to his power at the plate and elusive pitching abilities. In going global to access these markets, the MLB behaves like other big businesses facing globalization in their respective areas.

Multinational companies(MNCs) like McDonalds who have for many decades been building global markets for their products and utilizing a global labor pool to manufacture those products. The MLB’s international activities follow the same path already blazed by MNCs. The MLB is trying to get a foothold in other countries such as in the movie Holy Land Hardball, a documentary on the start of the Israeli Baseball League(IBL), which only lasted one season due to minimal funding and lack of fanbase. The MLB has become a very powerful force as it brings players from communist and socialist countries into the economic world of capitalism. With the game of baseball comes the thought of failure, letting down your team and family. When baseball was globalized the athletes from poverty-stricken countries had finally been presented with a way to leave and become a prosperous ball player. Though the globalization of baseball had some defects, the overall outcome is beneficial to the sport. The amount of followers and participants is growing on a daily basis as baseball spreads around the world.

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