Baseball is increasingly popular throughout the world, as evidenced by the many talented players (such as Ichiro Suzuki, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Hideki Matsui) coming to the Major Leagues from around the globe. The influx of such players is testament to the many high-quality professional and amateur leagues that thrive throughout the world. In this reference book--the first of its kind-- narrative chapters trace the history of baseball in Australia, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and throughout the rest of the world. Bjarkman profiles the teams and leading players from each country. He also covers the history of tournament play throughout the world, including Olympic baseball. This volume provides an invaluable and unprecedented source on the growth of America's "national pastime" into a global phenomenon that one day might feature a true World Series. Backmatter includes a chronology of important events, an annotated bibliography, and contact information for official baseball federations throughout the world. The author is perhaps the leading scholar on international baseball. In each chapter, he carefully traces the evolution of baseball in that country or region--often dispelling myths that have accompanied the globalization of baseball. Each chapter includes a history of championship play and biographies of famous players throughout history.