While Joe’s contributions are really adding an extra dimension to the content available here at BaseballGB, his main web home is at the Great Britain Baseball Scorers Association website. In recent days, several new articles have been published on the GBBSA website that deserve to be highlighted here.
Back in March, Joe published a thought-provoking piece about whether sabermetrics can be usefully applied to British baseball. Experienced scorer Michael Orpen-Palmer has submitted his comments in response to the article and they are well worth reading.
Secondly, a brilliant brief history of the Great Britain national team is now available, written by Five’s own Josh Chetwynd.
His comment about Team GB increasingly including players with British passports who do not live in the UK comes from his own experience, as Josh has represented Great Britain with distinction in the past. It will be a touchy subject for some, but bringing these players into the fold makes perfect sense and can only be for the good of baseball in this country. Great Britain’s fantastic second-place finish in last year’s European Championships is testament to the impact this approach can have. Of course you want to see young British players still being able to make their way through the ranks, but raising the profile of our national team is essential for a variety of reasons, such as encouraging youngsters to take up the sport and hopefully increasing the chances of receiving funding (the latter being extremely important now that baseball is about to lose its Olympic status). If Kevin Pieterson can play for the English cricket team and Lesley Vainakolo can play for the rugby union side, why shouldn’t Brant Ust, Mike Nickeas and co play for our baseball team?
If this article sparks your interest in baseball history on these shores, dig into your pockets and buy a copy of Josh’s excellent book: British Baseball and the West Ham Club: History of a 1930s Professional Team in East London. I reviewed it earlier this year and can assure you that it is worth the money. His upcoming book on the history of baseball in Europe promises to be another essential addition to your baseball library. Amazon.co.uk lists the release date as 15 June and I will be reading and reviewing it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.