Not many fans get to go on the field for batting practice the first time they attend a baseball game. Nor do they get to schmooze with players or take away autographed baseballs and other goodies.I don't believe there's any competition here:
But this wasn't your typical collection of first-time fans watching the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday night. They were foreign diplomats on the receiving end of a straight pitch: Help bring baseball back to the Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee voted four years ago to drop baseball and softball from the Games starting in 2012. Baseball is among seven sports competing for two openings at the 2016 Games. The International Olympic Committee will decide in October.
Many of the diplomats in attendance Wednesday night had never been to a baseball game. Organizers from the State Department and the International Baseball Federation did their best to both explain and extol the sport.
...baseball faces several obstacles in getting back on the program. It's got competition from six other sports — softball, golf, rugby sevens, roller speedskating, squash and karate — and some baggage because of doping scandals.Seriously? Roller speedskating? I think the global (minus American) popularity of the World Baseball Classic proves that baseball belongs in the Olympics.
I like this line:
Several ambassadors said they were on board with making baseball an Olympic sport again.