The Package Deal: How Two California Buddies Bid Adieu To Baseball In France

SÉNART — Nothing is more daunting for an athlete than deciding when and how to call it quits. That’s the dilemma Daniel Jackson grappled with last autumn after wrapping up his second season of “indy” baseball with the Sioux City Explorers, in Iowa. The Explorers are one of a dozen teams in the American Association, a so-called independent league for players like Jackson who go … Continue reading The Package Deal: How Two California Buddies Bid Adieu To Baseball In France

An All-American In France

LA ROCHELLE — At an age when many young people are just beginning to contemplate their career options, Jesse Baker’s professional plans crashed down into a million broken pieces. Sports are cruel that way. Born and raised in the small, central-Florida town of Sebring, the now 26-year-old played baseball for Daytona State College and later Edward Waters College (EWC), in Jacksonville, Florida, where he excelled. … Continue reading An All-American In France

How Montpellier’s Greg Hamilton Baseball Park Got Its Name

MONTPELLIER — There isn’t a blade of grass — on the infield or outfield — and with the arrival of summer, the punishing Mediterranean sun has baked the dusty diamond hard as concrete. Outfielder Paolo Brossier calls the grounds “special” — and not in the complimentary sense. “It’s tricky to play on,” he says. “Especially for the position players.” Tucked behind a subdivision in the … Continue reading How Montpellier’s Greg Hamilton Baseball Park Got Its Name

Finding A Way Back To Baseball—And Journalism—In Southern France

MONTPELLIER — Baseball made quite a splash this summer with the first ever MLB regular-season games on this side of the pond. The carefully staged “London Series” between the reigning champion Boston Red Sox and arch-rival New York Yankees even attracted a few royals — of the Windsor Castle, not Kansas City, variety. But what most people don’t know is that “America’s Pastime” already has … Continue reading Finding A Way Back To Baseball—And Journalism—In Southern France

Venezuela’s Ivan Acuña: ‘We’re Doing Everything We Can To Send Money Back’

Q&A With One Of French Baseball’s Brightest New Stars LA ROCHELLE — While some of the foreign recruits in France’s top-division baseball league, the D1, are late-career guys trying to stretch their playing days out just a bit longer, Ivan Acuña of the Savigny Lions is, in many ways, just getting started. And what a start it’s been. Exactly three quarters of the way through … Continue reading Venezuela’s Ivan Acuña: ‘We’re Doing Everything We Can To Send Money Back’

How Chile’s Baseball G.O.A.T. Found His Way To France

Just about every man, woman and abuela in Chile will be glued to their televisions Wednesday night to watch La Roja, the country’s beloved but frustratingly inconsistent men’s national soccer team. The occasion? A semi-final showdown with Peru in the Copa América tournament, in Brazil. I know because before moving to France, I lived in the long, skinny South American country for nearly seven years, and developed my … Continue reading How Chile’s Baseball G.O.A.T. Found His Way To France

Long Day’s Journey Into La Rochelle

LA ROCHELLE—Bright sun, thumping music, free-flowing beer, a pirate mascot giving out potato chips, and a crowd that at one point topped a hundred. No wonder the coach of the visiting team took a moment after Sunday’s double-header to lead his players in applauding the hosts. The gesture didn’t go unnoticed by a man sitting next to me. “Classy,” he said, finishing up the last … Continue reading Long Day’s Journey Into La Rochelle