Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler is making an effort to help baseball grow globally. Kepler was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and he is taking it upon himself to travel around the country, during November, spreading baseball awareness.
According to Jon Morosi, Kepler plans to visit Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt. He also plans to work with 80 kids,, ages 12-14, at a clinic in Regensburg.
Great news for @MLB, @MLB_PLAYERS, the @Twins and @DBV_BB_SB_GER: Max Kepler will be in his native Germany this month to spread awareness for baseball and visit Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt before working with 80 players, ages 12 to 14, at a clinic in Regensburg. @BaseballEurope
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 8, 2019
Kepler’s actions come at a time when MLB is attempting to expand its global popularity and look for the next generation of superstar players and die-hard fans. Over the last five seasons, the league has played regular-season games in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and England.
MLB has set its sights on growing in Europe as well as India. From a business standpoint, the idea is to grow the game by attracting players from these countries to play MLB. After that, the objective would be to work on televising games in those markets.
Germany and Baseball
Max Kepler is one of 42 German-born men to play in MLB. Clearly, he would love to see his home country produce more baseball talent then it has historically.
Aside from Kepler, some of the more notable names on that list include Ron Gardenhire and Edwin Jackson. Gardenhire currently manages the Detroit Tigers and has won 1,068 games as a manager. Jackson has pitched for 17 seasons from 2003-2019 with 14 different franchises. He also threw a no-hitter in 2010.
Germany has failed to qualify for the world Baseball Classic in each of the four times the tournament has occurred since 2006. Their bid for the 2017 World Baseball Classic fell short after a 15-3 loss to the Czech Republic in a 2016 qualifying game.
It will take time for the popularity of baseball to grow in Europe, but Kepler is taking a step in the right direction with his tour around Germany.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images