While diamonds hold a special place in the hearts of women around the world, many men too, will admit there is a diamond that holds their interest – the one on the baseball field.
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Since the late 19th century, baseball has been the national sport of the US. Once a sport confined to New York, it became a national hobby during the American Civil War in 1861 – a sport that was played both in the north and south of the country. It broke down the social boundaries of class and rank by prioritising athletic ability rather than social standing. Soldiers and officers played as equals.
But during World War II, as men began to get drafted into the army, many of the Minor League men’s teams were placed on hold. Baseball parks feared a collapse in popularity, so they began a women’s league. In 1943, baseball became the first sport where women were given their own league.
The game is considered the nation’s most popular pastime because it is always on! During baseball season, a game is played almost every day. And with both Minor and Major Leagues, there’s plenty of entertainment for spectators interested in the sport.
Today, baseball is played all around the world at amateur and professional levels, and is extremely popular in places like the Dominican Republic, Canada, Cuba and even Iraq.
In fact, according to US-based sports resource website Baseball Reference, the Iraqi national baseball team, which is based in Baghdad, was founded in 2004 by three Iraqi teenagers who grew up in the US. Although the team started off with second-hand equipment and limited resources, growing interest in the sport in the Middle East helped the team gain local and international attention. It became a member of the Baseball Federation of Asia in 2009 and represents Iraq in international competitions.
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