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Many different languages are spoken in baseball clubhouses. Here's how teams make it work

By Mark Brodie
Published: Thursday, June 8, 2023 - 11:43am
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2023 - 1:28pm

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There were more than 250 internationally-born players on Major League Baseball rosters on Opening Day, representing 19 countries. That’s nearly a third of all MLB players.

The Dominican Republic led the way with 104 players, followed by Venezuela, Cuba and Puerto Rico. That means there are a number of different languages spoken in clubhouses and dugouts — from Spanish to English to Japanese.

Brendan O’Connor explores language in baseball in his book “Multilingual Baseball: Language Learning, Identity and Intercultural Communication in the Transnational Game.”

O’Connor is an associate professor in ASU’s School of Transborder Studies, and is trained as a linguist and anthropologist. The Show spoke with him and discussed what got him interested in looking at the different languages in baseball.

Multilingual Baseball by Brendan O’Connor
Bloomsbury Academic
“Multilingual Baseball: Language Learning, Identity, and Intercultural Communication in the Transnational Game,” by Brendan O’Connor

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