The origins of Baseball are uncertain. Traces of a game played with a bat and a ball date back to ancient Egypt and a ball used over 2000 years ago is on display in the British Museum in London.
In a matter of years, Baseball became the first professional sport. In 1850 the National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP) was born, the National League was alive and kicking in 1876.
Americans tried immediately to make it a World Game. In 1878 a professional player named Esteban Bellan introduced the game in Cuba (that exported Baseball in the whole Caribbean) and in 1870 bats and balls arrived in Japan (from there quickly reached Korea and Taiwan) thanks to Horace Wilson. Games were organized in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific in 1888 and 1889. In February 1889 a tour organized by Albert Spalding took the game to Italy. A championship was played in England in the late 18th century.
The game really became international in the 20th century. By 1903 in the USA the American League began challenging the National League in the World Series. Organized Baseball Leagues started spreading all over the World: 1922 in The Netherlands, 1934 in Australia, 1936 in Japan, 1938 in Puertorico, 1945 in Venezuela and Mexico, 1948 in Italy.
Chinese Baseball Association
IBAF Member since: 1981
President: LEI Jun
Vice President: LI Gaochao
Secretary General: SHEN Wei
Address: No.2 Tiyuguan Rd Chongwen District, Beijing 100763, China
Tel: (86-10) 67183534
Fax: (86-10) 67117596
Baseball has been played in China for more than 100 years, but has experienced periods of ups-and-downs.
Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, baseball was an official sport at the National Games, but with few participating teams and poor competition skills.
In the early years of New China, baseball was widely played in grassroots units of the People’s Liberation Army. The first National Games in 1959 featured 23 baseball teams. However, national baseball competitions were cancelled in 1961, only to be resumed in the early 1970s.
In the past 20 years, baseball has been growing fast among teenagers. The Chinese teenage baseball team has won 7 World Junior Kenko Baseball Championships. China now has 10 senior baseball teams at the provincial level, and over 50 registered collegiate teams. The College Baseball League is held every year.
Since its first appearance in the Asian Baseball Championships in 1985, the Chinese national team, which consists of top players from provincial teams, has long been ranked fourth. Meanwhile, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei rank among the world’s top 5 and have taken the top 3 places in the past Olympic Games and World Cup. At the 25th Asian Baseball Championships in 2005, China made a historic breakthrough by winning the bronze medal by defeating Korea.
In 1990 and 1991, China successfully hosted the baseball demonstration games in the 11th Asian Games and the 16th Asian Baseball Championships, indicating an even higher Chinese position in international baseball.
In recent year, Chinese Baseball has gradually entered into a rapid development period with help of Japan and USA partners. Chinese Baseball Association first launched Chinese Baseball League in 2002 with 4 professional teams, leading Chinese Baseball into a new development cycle. Following the pace, Chinese National Baseball Team historically defeated Korea Team in 2005 Asia Championship, first time in history qualifies to IBAF world Cup.
2008 China hosted XXIX Olympic Games, Chinese Baseball started to show its power to the world through the Olympic platform, with the historic first victory against Chinese Taipei team. 1 year later, China received another victory against Chinese Taipei in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Thus, Chinese Baseball has picked up its pace in advancing to the international high level baseball.
Link: International Baseball Federation (IBAF)