Greetings friends and fellow baseball fans and welcome to The Baseball Diaspora.
The Baseball Diaspora is a blog (and eventually a podcast…hopefully) aimed at chronicling the experience of baseball fans “in the diaspora” and how being separated from their team impacts their fandom and the manner in which they consume the game.
Born of a desire to keep in touch with a dear friend and fellow baseball maniac who once lived right down the street and now lives all the way across the country, The Baseball Diaspora is about all things baseball, from the first pitch of the Arizona Fall League to the final out of the World Series. Across levels and national borders, from the weighty to the trivial to the mundane, The Baseball Diaspora is interested in discussing the game from as many angles as possible (or as many angles as I feel like covering).
Before we begin, however, a question should be answered by way of introduction: What exactly is the Baseball Diaspora?
At the risk of drawing a disapproving headshake from this guy, Webster’s defines diaspora as “the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland.” The Jews, Africans, Hmong and American college students, history and the modern world are full of examples of people separated from their homes by forces as diverse as a desire to spread one’s wings and the Transatlantic slave trade.
The Baseball Diaspora is thankfully on the happier end of this spectrum. Rather than threat of persecution or actual bondage, it is increased mobility, school, work, love or family that leads the modern baseball fan away from his or her home team and into the diaspora. The result is the situation in which we find ourselves today: a St. Louis Cardinals fan in Oakland, CA, an Oakland A’s fan in Miami, a Boston Red Sox fan in Charlotte, NC and so on and so forth.
Half a century ago baseball fans more than likely lived within a few hours of their team’s home ballpark. With limited national television exposure and no internet, fans living outside of broadcast range of their team essentially had two choices: read box scores or adopt the Yankees. Today, with MLB Extra Innings, MLB.TV, sports websites, blogs, podcasts and twitter, it’s possible to keep up with one’s favorite team and all 29 others in a variety of ways. Nevertheless, the fan experience is different in the diaspora than it is in the shadow of one’s home park.
Exploring and expressing just what it means to be a baseball fan on the visiting team is the mission of The Baseball Diaspora. And we’re going to do it up.
So welcome. I’m excited and I hope you are too.