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The British Are Coming!

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THOSE GUYS WITH THOSE RED COATS AND DOOFY HATS...
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...THEY'RE DROPPING THERE CRICKET WICKETS AND PLAYING THE REAL SPORT, INCLUDING IN THE U.S.

Despite no baseball at the London Olympics, the Brits are moving forward, sending a select few to the U.S. as part of high school exchange programs. The Brits have also hired U.S. coaches for its national team. A few years ago, a British team toured Minnesota and went 5-5. Years back, a Brit, Gavin Marshall, spent a few years in the U.S. Minor Leagues. He's now an inspiration for younger kids. About 3,500 plus are playing in England while there's also teams in Belfast and other cities in Northern Ireland (which is part of the United Kingdom, not Ireland). Major League Baseball's European headquarters are also based in London.

 

You can learn more about baseball in the United Kingdom and Europe in World in a Ballpark: Baseball Goes Global, which is available for purchase at the Buy Joe's Guides page.

 

You can see Joe's other Europe photos by traveling to these links:

European Feast; Baseball Italia; The Netherlands: Dutch Treats!; Czech Republic This Out; French Connection; Do You Speak German?; Luck Of The Irish; From Russia, With LoveSpanish Passport and Swiss Cheese!

 

If you want to view a sample of the guide and see how easy the guide is to use, visit the World Baseball Classic page.

MLB ROAD SHOWS HAVE PASSED THROUGH ENGLAND...
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...AND THE SHOWS HAVE INSPIRED BRITS TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE NORTH AMERICAN SPORT WITH BAT AND BALL

While the Brits are improving, they are still not in the top tier of European clubs. Only time and more practice will change that.

"The things that we're fighting against are we don't have the depth and we don't get to practice as often," said one-time British manager, Tom Gillespie. "Everybody else has an academy or the same club team. We fight against a lot of bad habits."

In the Brits dugout before a game with the Czechs were a series of "mental approach reminders" on individual index cards, posted on the inside of the dugout's chain link fence. Mental lapses are a common sight in European baseball, and the Brits were looking for any edge they could get over the Czechs.

One read: "mental approach to hitting in the hole:
- Go over possibilities
- Positive thoughts
- I am a good hitter
- I get the job done
- I trust my body to do what my mind wants it to do"

The MLB "Road Show" experience has hit several countries in Europe, as well as Australia and Latin America, to help grow the game. The Road Show consists of batting cages, pitching machines – even a home run park – set up over a weekend outside a major sporting venue.

GENTS PLAYING CRICKET ON THE BEACH IN WALES
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CRICKET REMAINS A VERY POPULAR TEAM SPORT IN BRITAIN

BRIT MICHAEL JOHNSON HAS PLAYED IN THE U.S.
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SOME BRITS ARE PLAYING HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE BALL IN AMERICA

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