France Baseball - The Mayor That Wanted it All
Few decades ago, a village mayor in France was interested in building a baseball field for his community to create some pastime for his people. He built it. But unfortunately, they didn't turn up. The mayor successfully built minor baseball league affectations but the field has a major league dimensions. The French baseball field was provided with lights, lockers, and artificial turf, as well as a stand from which people can buy tasty hot dogs smeared with mayonnaise.
Meanwhile, the town was successful in one aspect. The home team known as the Montigny Cougars has distinguished itself as one of the most respected baseball teams in France, even though it has not featured in several competitions. For any town in America, the field would have been a source of envy ifthey were to be the owner. Although, the field is more or less a monument to the mayor's enthusiasm, it does not really represent the love of the game.
Some thirty years ago, the village of Montigny-le-Bretonneux was situation about 20 miles to the southwest of Paris. It had a single doctor, Nicolas About, and has welcomed over two thousand new residents every year for the past two decades.
Initially, the only known sports to the villagers was soccer, beer and boules, but the people were looking for something more, and when About became the mayor, he provided them with more facilities for soccer and boules - a national sport that is similar to lawn bowling but played on a sandy surface with small steel balls. About also introduced some new activities like handball, fencing, and Judo.
Meanwhile, in a bid to start introduce something that it entirely new to his people, the mayor thought of baseball. Why not baseball? He thought. At different points in other parts of France, he had seen men and women with gloves throwing balls while holding bats. This was in the late 1980s when France baseball was just coming alive with teenagers favouring the American caps and jersey even as at the time when the rules of the game were still arcane. About brought up the idea to build a place where his people can watch baseball live games within the budding suburb, and with the help of some pioneers, they started a club.
With all things in place, the promising mayor carried on with his idea about match baseball (baseball game), though he knew next to nothing about the game and had not been opportuned to watch a baseball match across the Atlantic. All he knew was that baseball is something distinctive and will be a good symbol for the American dream.
Nevertheless, France baseball, which was introduced the same year Eiffel Tower was constructed, has not really gotten to a professional stage and is mostly played at the level of amateurs. As at present, the national baseball federation consists of about nine thousand members, and France is usually ranked behind Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Britain at competitions.