Recently I bumped into this stat, showing the decline of baseball players in Europe.
When you read this from right to left, you will see an incline of members first but from 2014 the numbers go down with a sharp drop in 2015. Baseball Popular in Europe?
When you know that Jan Esselman is the chairman of the CEB since 2013, the decline of members is bigger than the growth of it since his appointment. In an interview with the pan-European baseball website Mister-baseball.com, Mr. Esselman stated the following: “The challenge for the new Executive is to find solutions for the various top and development levels within the European baseball competitions. The best way for all Federations is that every team can compete on their own level and in that way to reach a higher one. The last change of the Seniors in to A, B and C level will be watched carefully.”
“… that every team can compete on their own level…”
Really? Clubs like Curacao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates clearly have outgrown the Dutch competition. Therefore an initiative like the ELB would be a great opportunity for both teams. Sure, both teams could not participate due to the ban that was imposed by the Dutch federation, but that very same federation initially allowed Amsterdam Baseball, which contained players of L&D Amsterdam Pirates who are not playing in the Dutch National team, a.k.a. team Kingdom of the Netherlands, to participate in the ELB.
More to read here.