In Which Country Is Baseball More Popular Than Soccer

In Which Country Is Baseball More Popular Than Soccer

Your Guide

Alex Waite Alex Waite

  • Baseball Was Invented in the United States and Its Popularity Grew in the Late 19th Century.
  • As Us Expansion Began Into Central America in the Early 20th Century, Explorers and Industrialists Introduced the Sport to Countries Like Panama, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
  • Soccer Has Lagged Behind in the United States and Only Gained Widespread Attention When Major League Soccer Began in the 1996 Season. 

Baseball is more popular than Soccer in the following countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • the Dominican Republic
  • Puerto Rico
  • Venezuela and
  • Japan

Although soccer is the most popular global sport by a long stretch, with an estimated 4 billion fans.

Baseball is played more often and supported more in specific countries and regions due to a range of SOCIAL and HISTORICAL FACTORS.

For me, soccer was always the most talked about, most played and MOST ENJOYED SPORT from my childhood.

In fact, its presence was everywhere in British culture.

From adverts on the television to drop-down games played in school playgrounds and on neighborhood streets, soccer was ALMOST UNAVOIDABLE to an extent. 

In different countries and cultures, other sports are more prevalent, which is why they become more popular in these societies.

When I have visited other continents and countries, most of which have been in continental Europe and South America, the presence of soccer is everywhere.

Much like the UK, small soccer pitches are built into concrete estates, in the favelas of Brazil and some form of soccer is shown in bars EACH DAY. 

For baseball, similar histories exist, but they stem from the US instead.

When soccer spread around the world as part of British industrialization, baseball followed a similar path after its invention in the US in the late 18th century.

In this article, we highlight some countries where baseball is more popular than soccer and we compare the popularity of each sport. 

Why is Baseball More Popular Than Soccer in the United States?

As baseball was invented in the US, it is no surprise that the sport is more popular here compared to soccer.

Early, informal games of baseball were played since the 1700s when English colonists brought rounders and cricket to the US.

The two games were blended to create baseball in the late 18th century.

By the time of the American Revolution, baseball was played in major cities, mostly on the East Coast where many British colonists landed.

Then, the game went from strength to strength and the first codified set of rules was created in September 1845.

A group of New York City men who founded the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club came together to improve the gameplay and structure of baseball.

Eventually, Major League Baseball began in 1869, and the sport has been a favored pastime, particularly on the East Coast, ever since.

By comparison, Major League Soccer didn’t begin until 1996, the first time soccer was given a NATIONAL AUDIENCE and platform in the US. 

Although soccer has been unable to compete with MLB for around 150 years, there are signs that the tide is shifting.

Soccer is reportedly becoming more popular and a 2018 survey by American analytics company, Gallup, found that 9% of participants had baseball as their favorite sport, while 7% chose soccer.

How Did Baseball Become More Popular Than Soccer in Japan and Central America?

US culture, including sports like baseball, was introduced into Central America in the early 20th century.

Military personnel, explorers, and business people working in this region brought a piece of home WITH THEM.

Also, the conditions in these countries and regions suited a slower-paced sport like baseball rather than an INTENSELY physical sport like soccer.

The same happened in Japan after the end of World War II as military GIs and overseas workers continued to play baseball when stationed in the country.

However, baseball was already popular in Japan as the aims of the sport suited the Japanese philosophy of teamwork, making it a popular team sport before the US influence from 1945 onwards.

This introduction of baseball has had a POSITIVE EFFECT in these countries.

It is the most popular sport in countries like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Japan.

Alternatively, the reach of British and European colonists, who introduced soccer to new countries and regions, had VERY LITTLE INFLUENCE on the central American countries or Japan. 

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