This past week, John McGee sat down to talk with the head of MLB UK, Charlie Hill, to answer some burning questions about the future of Major League Baseball in the UK.
Below are some of the key points from the interview, for the full podcast, please go check it out on Blog Talk Radio, here.
We hope you enjoy the interview and have some of those questions you had answered.
Range of MLB UK
Charlie is the head of MLB UK, they are part of a team that are looking to expand the game in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. Now go check a map, that’s a bucket load of different countries, territories, cultures, backgrounds and they way the people act in a social manner. They are really busy and they are a fairly small team (currently three, but expanding as we type).
2019 Games in the UK
The games are looking very likely, Charlie didn’t go on to say who or when, but he said confidence was very high.
Festivals of Baseball
When the games hit international shores, the plan is to make sure it isn’t a flash and bang of “Here’s the games, now we’re off”. There will be a buildup, a buzz generated, food, music and culture all related to the teams coming over and baseball as a whole. The plan is to have the game of baseball and all the surrounding elements celebrated, not just the games played.
Events year round
As said previously, the events leading up to the games will be generating buzz, but there will also be events after the games have been and gone to continue the legacy of the event and continue to interact with the fan base.
Terrestrial TV & Radio
One of the big points from the Bat Flips and Nerds Great British and Irish Baseball Fan Survey was the lack of coverage the game has in the UK. Charlie addresses this, saying they are working with some TV networks/outlets to ensure the free-to-air market receives some baseball, to build that fan base.
Charlie absolutely loves these events that have been setup by the likes of ourselves, BaseballByCommittee and Sandy Shipley to name a few. He said he admires the community so much for coming together and taking the time to organise these events and continue to work on spreading the word of the game. He also said the team are continuing to listen and research ideas for future events involving the community.
Free Beer @ London Event
With the London Opening Day event happening at Belushi’s London Bridge in the Dugout Bar on the 1st April, Charlie mentioned the MLB UK team are buying the first round of drinks for those attending. He said it’s something they wanted to do to show how much they appreciated the event and would like to encourage more. If you’re not willing to attend an event where there are free drinks, you’re a lost cause.
The podcast was only 36 minutes long, but it was so revealing as to what MLB UK have been doing and what they plan next. Charlie wanted to make sure he spoke on the podcast when he had something to say, hence the delay until now. He’s had something to say and we wanted to listen.
The bottom line is, we should, must and have to continue to support them and feed them what we want as a community and any ideas we have. They are listening. Charlie spends the whole interview using words like community, team, we, research, listen, investigate, etc. There is real thirst for teamwork on this, they aren’t here to impose their ideas and demand we enjoy it. MLB UK want this to succeed, it’s within their interests to make sure it does.
This interview shows they most certainly are busy, very busy but they are listening. With giant wide open ears for what you want and how you want to do it.
Enjoy the interview.