Ed Odeven Reporting

This featured appeared in the April 20, 2004, issue of The Rafu Shimpo, Los Angeles’ English-Japanese newspaper.


The Sidewinders are enjoying the increasing popularity of baseball — in Great Britain.

By Ed M. Odeven
Rafu Correspondent

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Professional baseball players don’t really have off-seasons anymore. Well, at least that’s the case with most players nowadays; year-round conditioning has become the norm.

Travel across the Atlantic Ocean and there’s a slightly different identity: baseball, a minor sport.

A drawn-out spring training is not realistic for all ballplayers in the British Baseball Federation, as it is made up of amateurs, many of whom also hold full-time jobs.

“Yes, it is always an issue with us,” said Yuzo Saito, a player/head coach for the London Sidewinders. “We are an amateur club and we have to rely on people’s commitments. However, we have to make sure that players…

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