The past few days have been a whirlwind of information about Israeli Baseball for me and I am just starting to get a grip on the story. When I posted the video before, the information I had on the IBL came from their website. I thought it was a little strange that their last update was on February 20th, but I really didn’t think anything of it.
My full intention with the last post was to tell a story about conversation I had with my Israeli cousins over the weekend. I asked my cousins over the weekend if they knew anything about the IBL (I was looking for some material for this blog) and they told me that they have never heard of professional baseball in Israel. I was astonished, and started listing the teams and where they played, but they kept shaking their heads no. One of my cousins was also talking about how Americans always think that Israeli’s need some sort of distraction in their world. She went on to say that in her view, the attacks and everything around that are just events of her daily life, and she got used to them. That led me to start thinking about who’s interest are we trying to serve here.
Luckily, Sam Peters of Tabloidbaby opened my eyes to the entire issue. To literally quote part of our email correspondence:
“A major flaw in the Israel Baseball League blueprint was its lack of
promotion among native Israelis. They were
playing to a US-based big money audience and not the punters who fill the
stands-- which is why your cousins never
heard of the league. How could that be possible?
This pretty much answers the question that the needs and “dreams” of the United States were really being granted in this expedition. This is a theme I hope to touch on later with the recent promotion of baseball in China.
What I am truly embarrassed about is that I did not see this months ago like everyone else out there. On top of that, the IBL, albeit not officially announced on their website, will not be playing ball next year.
This is an example of exporting of baseball that did not work.