Thursday, May 15, 2008

Well, we did screw up La Femme Nikita

It's not often a LA Times baseball story is set in MONTIGNY-LE-BRETONNEUX, FRANCE. But this small town has something not often found in France - humility, and a baseball diamond. Click here to read the front page story (apparently, Elections and Earthquakes don't get the ink they used to.)

At first, the only sports and culture the village had were soccer, boules and beer. The people wanted more. So About gave them more soccer and facilities for boules, a national sport akin to lawn bowling but done with small steel balls on sandy surfaces. He also introduced new activities such as judo, fencing and his favorite, handball.

Then one day he had the idea to start something altogether new. He'd seen people elsewhere in France with gloves throwing balls to one another. They had bats. Baseball, he thought, why not baseball?

It was the late 1980s, and America's pastime was newly in vogue in France. Teens favored the American jerseys and caps even if the rules of the game were arcane. About raised the idea of building a field in his budding suburb, and immediately a few pioneers started a club.

"They understood they had to help me because it was a kind of cultural revolution," About recalls. But there was no cry of "Vive le baseball!"

In keeping consistent with the French work force, Major Oui Baseball is currently slated for 40 five-inning games.


Orel said...

Hey, Point of No Return is a classic!

Eric Karros said...

There's a Juan Pierre joke somewhere in here, I just can't quite put it together.

Delino DeShields, Sr said...

Karros, I spent almost two minutes on that same thought, and plain gave up.