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Mar 19 / Dave Nemetz

Baseball in China, and on Bleacher Report

This past weekend, MLB held its first games in China, sending the Padres and the Dodgers to Beijing for two Spring Training matchups. Bleacher Report managed to get a first row seat on the action thanks to our embedded reporter Jeff Swiryn, an American living in China who covered the games close up.

Jeff wrote a three part series covering the history of baseball in China, the lead-up to the series, and a recap of the games themselves. He’s also planning a follow-up piece looking to the future and how America’s pastime can continue to develop in the land of ping pong and Yao.

This weekend was also another first for Bleacher Report—Jeff was, to my knowledge, the first Bleacher Report writer to attend a major event as a fully-credentialed member of the press. We were able to secure a press pass for Jeff due in part to the extreme circumstances and exotic locale of the game. But I also like to think it’s because of how far the site and our community of fan-expert writers have come in such a short amount of time.

Jeff did a great job with the extra access he got at the games and filed some awesome reports, bringing the games and this historic occasion to life for the Bleacher Report audience. He also validated Bleacher Report’s mission of empowering and legitimizing the fan-expert, and set an example for what a B/R writer can do when given full access.

Getting more Bleacher Report writers recognition as members of the press is a goal we’re working hard at achieving, and something I’ll probably be writing more about in this space in the near future. (Also, to see a different take on the topic, check out Mark Cuban’s recent blog post about bloggers in the Mav’s locker room.)

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a recording of Jeff being interviewed about the games by Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton on KLSD Xtra Sports 1360 AM in San Diego. Enjoy…