The day after I got off the plane from my appearance at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival (Nov. 6), my wife and I got on a plane for Paris (France, not Texas), an extension of our 25th anniversary celebration. We did the usual touristy things, but I also had the opportunity to visit the Fédération Française de Baseball et Softball, aka, the French Baseball Federation, a small office located in the 12th “arrondisement,” (as the districts in Paris are called). According to Francois Collet, the gentleman who runs the bureau (as offices in France are called), there are about 10,000 people who play baseball and softball in France, as opposed to two million who play soccer. Obviously, there’s a lot of catch-up to do.
I gave Collet a copy of my 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die (I was disappointed to hear that there are no French language baseball books in France). Who knows, maybe this will be the catalyst that creates a more general interest in the game. In return, Collet gave me a jersey from the national team. Tres jolie.
But that’s not the only place to find baseball. I picked these up in a gift shop in the Eiffel Tower.