Published on May 9, 2013 | by Randy Brenzen

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We all speak the same language on the pitch

Arts London News reporter Randy Brenzen crossed the Atlantic to London but remains faithful to the North American sport.

baseball playerMy passion for baseball began while growing up in Canada. Never once did I expect that I would one day play in the UK.

Fast forward 25 years and during the week I study Sports Journalism at LCC, but at the weekend, I feel back at home.

Every Sunday you’ll find me suited up in the navy blue and white of the London Mets AA affiliate London Mammoths – a melting pot of baseball culture.

Many different countries are represented on the Mammoths including Taiwan, Germany, Latvia, Australia, USA, Canada, Venezuela and Great Britain.

We might not all speak English fluently, but there is one thing we all understand: baseball.

As a starting pitcher and assistant coach for the Mammoths, at times there is a language barrier within our internationally flavoured team, but then baseball has its own dialect, its own silent language.

Baseball in the UK is both similar and different from the sport in North America. The diamonds (playing fields) may not be as beautiful as they are back home and you won’t see seats surrounding the field, full of spectators living and dying by each pitch.

What you will see is the same camaraderie and family environment that is universally found in baseball. Every player on the team treats each other with respect, and if something goes down, we’ve got each other’s backs.

“I do like playing baseball here but while we train to win in Taiwan, British players simply train to enjoy playing. Difference of baseball culture I guess.” Back catcher Hao Chuan Kuo

Sometimes, though, one can peak different colours of competitive streaks among the players. The drive between UK and international players is different.

My teammate and back catcher Hao Chuan Kuo said: “I do like playing baseball here but while we train to win in Taiwan, British players simply train to enjoy playing. Difference of baseball culture I guess.”

Even though we just play for fun here, playing in England has made me realise baseball truly is an international family.

It’s not just a game. It’s a lifestyle and a community based on friendship.

Playing baseball in the UK has been both a pleasure and an honour.

 

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