For SABR’s U.K. chapter, London Olympics secondary to America’s pastime

From Doug Williams at ESPN.com on August 6, 2012, with quotes from SABR member Mike Ross:

This has been a gold-medal season for sports in Britain, with the Olympics in London, the first English victory in the Tour de France, and Wimbledon and the British Open having just concluded.

Yet in the middle of the Summer Games, a small group of fans in the British Isles is more concerned about baseball scores and the latest MLB trades than with England’s medal count.

Mike Ross, a U.S. citizen and Red Sox fan from Maine who has been living in the U.K. since 1960, says that as a Londoner he “cannot help but be swept up in the excitement and the pride” of watching his city host the Games. Yet for Ross and about 35 of his acquaintances, “it seems the pennant races take priority” — with allegiances split.

“It’s very likely there are 20 teams being prayed for,” says Ross, who discussed baseball fandom in Britain recently via email while watching a Red Sox-Yankees game on his computer. (“Two beers and a rain delay at Yankee Stadium and I am all yours,” he joked.)

Ross is among the four who founded the U.K. chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research in the early 1990s, and is its outgoing chairman. Ross says the SABR chapter has a nucleus of about 35 members, including some transplanted Americans and “Brits from all over” — including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s called the Bobby Thomson chapter because the New York Giants’ 1951 home run hero was born in Scotland.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/8226/some-brits-enjoy-diamond-more-than-gold

Related link: To learn more about the Bobby Thomson Chapter, click here



Originally published: August 6, 2012. Last Updated: August 6, 2012.

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