Although the Chicago Cubs have always been and probably always will be my first love when it comes to baseball, in learning the history of the game I have found myself becoming more and more interested in baseball outside of the MLB. I went to a Northern League minor league baseball game last season and found that no matter what the baseball is, I am always thoroughly entertained by the game. I am finding that perhaps the most interesting in baseball is the stuff that I have the most difficulty getting information about.
It is probably strange for a 22 year old white kid from the Chicago suburbs to be eating up all the information I can about the Negro Leagues, but I couldn’t be more intrigued by it. I’m trying to figure out what books I need to read, and have decided I’m going to start with the recent Satchel Paige biography. I’ll probably pick it up in paperback when it comes out next month, because with my current state of employment and lack of funds I just can’t justify spending $25+ on a book. I’m hoping when I’m more financially stable I can save up the money to go on a road trip and visit the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, home of the Monarchs.
Also of profound interest to me is Japanese baseball. I’d love to follow a Japanese team, but all the websites are in Japanese only and there’s really no avenues to see the games, and obviously being a one-language wonder I can’t speak Japanese. Of particular interest to me is the migration of the top tier Japanese players from their home league to the MLB, which has probably been an interest of mine since a couple seasons ago when Kosuke Fukudome came over from the Chunichi Dragons to play for my Chicago Cubs. It is interesting to me that people still see the Japanese league as being on par with Triple A ball at best, when players like Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki manage to come here and do as good if not better as they did at home. I think we ought to show a lot more respect for these other baseball leagues than we do right now.