The Baseball World Series is in full swing and the Giants and Royals are battling it out for the title. But, is it a World Series?
I teach engineers from all over the world. As I travel the world teaching in their countries, or they come to my classroom in California, we almost always will end up discussing sports at some time during a course.
Sports analogies sometimes work really well to explain technical terms. However, it is sometimes hard to use baseball analogies as it is not as popular around the world as it is here.
Many of us here in America grew up playing baseball or softball. We can probably identify with this editorial cartoon by Frank Andrea Miller.
Many of us know a lot of baseball trivia, like who was the only pitcher to pitch a Perfect Game in the World Series.
When my classroom is full of international students we often end up talking about football (soccer), rugby or cricket. These three are some of the most popular sports in the world and with the exception of soccer are rarely seen here in America.
At least everyone here gets excited when the Football World Cup is played. We may even remember the names of some of the players.
Our national team is currently playing in the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament in Malaysia. They have played two matches so far and are 1-1 with the loss coming to the host nation in a very close match.
If they finish in the top two in this tournament they will move up to Division two and play for a chance to gain a berth in the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. The other teams in the tournament are Uganda, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia and Bermuda.
The picture above was taken about a mile from my house. We actually have a cricket pitch and a team that plays in a California league. Most of the players are from countries where cricket is a dominant sport.
When I go to India to do training we will often take time for some sandlot cricket. Most of our engineers in India played cricket while growing up and they get really competitive when they play each other. It is a lot of fun. They even let me play, but the team that gets me is at a disadvantage.
See Playing Cricket for a picture of me playing.
My students also joke about the World Series. How can the winner of the World Series be called the World Champion when it does not include the rest of the world?
Maybe 130 years ago when Sporting Life name the Providence Grays the Champions of the World this was actually the case. Who else even played baseball then?
Now it is ingrained in our culture and I think that most people will agree that the teams that play in the World Series are some of the best baseball teams in the world.
Of course, the team of my heart is in the World Series this year and I have had a great time watching the Kansas City Royals take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Who are you cheering for?