Paris. The City of Lights. The home of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. But not, apparently, the home of baseball. The third leg of our European vacation was Paris, France. By the time we arrived there, we’d already spent nearly a week without baseball. We’d seen more ads for football than we ever thought we would. I was really missing my baseball teams at that point.
I have to admit, I wasn’t very prepared for this part of the trip. Not only was it the third city we’d be visiting, I also don’t speak French. Researching London and Malaga were exhausting enough – and I speak English and Spanish (sort of). All I knew I wanted to see in Paris for sure was the Eiffel Tower. So, we both figured we’d just experience Paris, maybe take one of those tourist bus tours and just get the lay of the land. So that’s precisely what we did.
However, if I had done my homework, I would have known that back in September, Paris had been awarded the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. At the same time, the International Olympic Committee had announced that Los Angeles would host the 2028 Summer Olympics. Recently it has been pointed out that the decision to have these two cities host the summer Olympics is good news for baseball. In fact, Franceinfo reported something about baseball in the 2024 Olympics just before we arrived in Paris. Of course, I have no idea what they reported. Did I mention I don’t know French?
Although baseball and softball were removed from the Olympic schedule beginning with the 2012 Olympics, they will be included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Apparently, the host nation is allowed to select additional sports to be included at the games. Since baseball is big in Japan, the Tokyo Organising Committee for the 2020 games voted to include baseball and softball. With baseball almost a shoo-in to be included in 2028 in Los Angeles, that means there’s a good chance for my favorite sport to also be included in 2024. In March, the president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) met with the French Minister of Sports to discuss just that.
So, had I done my research and known any of that, I would have been sure to include Stade Sébastien Charléty on my Paris itinerary. This stadium, currently used for football, of course, was built in 1939, and renovated in 1994. It is the proposed site for both baseball and softball should they be included in the 2024 Olympics.
Alas, I was not aware of any of that. Thus, sadly, I spent my time in Paris completely devoid of baseball.
That is, until we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport for our flight back to London to go home. There I spotted a young lady wearing – of course – a Yankees cap. Fortunately, her traveling companion had better taste. She was wearing a Dodgers cap.