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A baseball Fan in Notts: MLB Arrives in Blighty

28 May 19 words: Matt Pumfrey

With two of the biggest franchises in MLB history, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, going head to head in the UK this summer, we've enlisted super fan Matt Pumfrey to keep you up to date on all things Notts Baseball.   

 

Baseball is alive and growing in Britain. I discovered the sport through MLB on Five in the late 90s and early 2000’s. Welcomed by Johnny Gould and Josh Chetwynd, their familiar faces introduced many to the game, offering passion and exuberance. I’ve been a fan ever since, and I want to bring people into the sport I love as they did me. I have been running Major League Baseball watching events at Shooters, Nottingham for several months. Giving the opportunity for fans to watch games live together, sharing baseball stories and our unique British perspective on the sport.

Despite there being tens of thousands of fans and 74 baseball teams in the UK, this passionate community still rarely has the chance to talk about the game they love and watching live is generally a solo undertaking; often through bleary eyes, with 3am starts and staying up night after night for the best-of-seven World Series. The chance to watch live Baseball in Nottingham with others didn’t exist, until now.

This month saw the launch of our first viewing event coinciding with the huge focus MLB is putting into this side of the pond with the upcoming London Series. This June, and again next year, Major League Baseball plays its first ever regular season game in Europe which will be held at a purpose built ballpark inside London Stadium, home of West Ham United. Here, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will bring their 120 year rivalry to the UK. Two huge teams full of home run hitting superstars, showcasing the classic cat and mouse battle between pitcher and batter. The move seems to be influenced by the huge success of NFL, who have been hosting regular American Football games here for years. MLB bring baseball to Britain having held games in Japan and Mexico.

Early forms of Baseball originated in England and modern baseball has been played in Britain since 1860; for us supporters this series represents a well deserved payback for our years of devotion. Baseball, though, has been in Nottingham all along, You may not be aware but Nottingham has its own successful amateur team Nottingham Rebels. Playing home games in Bulwell. They were formed in 2010 by Illinois born Shan Henry, bringing his passion for the sport and enabling young players to find the game, organising a youth team in 2013.

The viewing events, just like the Rebels, were started to bring together local fans and players, as well as bring in new fans to watching and playing the game we love. We are a bit tired of Baseball being dismissed as American rounders, and we believe exposing the sport to more people will have them hooked on this exciting, unpredictable and intricate game. We welcome everyone to out monthly meet ups, especially to this years London Series events. If you are curious about the sport this is the best way to find out more and come join passionate, friendly and like minded fans from around the East Midlands.

Join us 29 June from 5pm and 30 June from 2pm at Nottingham Shooters.

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