Spring is not only marked by the appearance of flowers, warmer weather and longer days but in the United States, and increasingly in Poland, by the sights and sounds of baseball. In the United States, America’s pastime is baseball and the first day of the season is called Opening Day. This year Opening Day will be March 29, the earliest ever in 142 years of professional baseball and will feature all 30 teams. The baseball season stretches through three seasons from March to October and each team will play 162 games in the regular season before the top teams enter the playoffs, ending with the World Series to determine the best team in the league.
And baseball is growing each year here in Poland. On April 21st, U.S. Embassy representatives will participate in the opening of a baseball and softball complex in Wroclaw after residents voted to fund the initiative and thanks to the support of the city government and efforts of the local baseball club, the Wroclaw Barons. The Embassy supports sports initiatives in Poland as part of its new initiative – Sports UP. Its aim is to strengthen ties between the United States and Poland through the promotion of sport, in particular American sports. Sport is a way to build relationships with young people and to create opportunities for dialogue and teaching values such as leadership skills, team work, responsibility, integration and tolerance.
For more information about baseball and softball in Poland please go to: http://www.baseballsoftball.pl/ and to learn more about Major League Baseball in the United States check out https://www.mlb.com/ and to watch games during the season MLB offers an app called mlb.tv available here in Poland.
Here are some suggestions for movies and documentaries about baseball for those looking to learn more about America’s Pastime:
- Baseball – Perhaps the definitive documentary by Ken Burns on the game of baseball.
- The Natural – An adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s 1952 baseball novel of the same name, starring Robert Redford the film tells the story of Roy Hobbs.
- Field of Dreams – Starring Kevin Costner, this Academy Award nominated film is about an Iowa farmer who turns his corn field into a baseball field. Don’t let that strange synopsis stop you from watching this movie, it’s a classic.
- A League of Their Own – A movie about the first women’s professional baseball league started in 1943 during World War II.
- The Jackie Robinson Story – a biographical movie about the first African-American baseball player in Major League Baseball history.