Baseball – a new passion

To understand the local sports is a wonderful opportunity to taste a new culture.

It’s a whole new world that opens up for us when we can read in a different language, as Catherine Wu replied to my comment at a recent post of her (

I will never forget my first book read in English and I still have it in my library, after multiple moves. It is from David Halberstam, Summer of `49 and describes the Baseball rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

It was during my very first year as expat, living in Boston, still working at university and so typical that it had been a book related to sports. As a former active football (Americans would say soccer) player, Baseball was completely new to me and I wanted to learn not only the rules, but also some of the history.

The book fascinated me and I was so proud, when I realized that I could do it and understand the content.

Big learning then, that I realized who Joe DiMaggio was, a star player of the Yankees at this time. Before I only had known this name from Mrs. Robinson, the title song of Simon & Garfunkel of The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Wooh, wooh, wooh

What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Jolting Joe has left and gone away
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

I had learned about Joe DiMaggio, combining the gentleman and the sports hero. Now I was wondering, what I can get to know about Roger Clemens, the star pitcher of the Red Sox in the summer of ’88 and ‘89, the summers I spent in Boston and learned all about baseball.

➡ And you? What are you doing to taste a new culture?

If you are interested, I help to make sure, that international assignments are successful and virtual intercultural teams can perform.

Thank you for sharing your stories about reading the first book in a different language, Catherine Wu and Diana M. Suarez and being the inspiration for this post (

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