Baseball is a popular sport in Shaelia, having first been introduced by American missionaries, traders and diplomats in the late 19th Century. Baseball is considered one of the Fauzue (“Top Three”) sports in the country, behind ice hockey and Shaelic football. It is played at all levels, from youth through professional and has well-developed infrastructure at all levels of play, including strong player development programs and a minor league farm system. As of 2013, 179 universities around the country sponsor baseball, organized in three levels of competition.
Nationally, baseball is organized by the Zxebada Ðose Šaeleneiri (ZÐŠ, “Shaelia Baseball Federation”) founded in 1911. It’s also known as Zxeba Šaeleneiri or Beisbola Šaeleneiri (both meaning “Baseball Shaelia”), and is widely referred to by the abbreviation ZXŠAE.
Professionally, the Jinbaeoa Beisbolara (“Professional Baseball League”), also known as the Faubaeoa (“Top League”) or the Jinbaeoa Zxebara (often abbreviated JINZX), is the top competition, consisting of 18 professionally-run teams from around the country. As of 2014, JINZX is the top attended sports league in the country, drawing more than 28.6 million fans (an average of over 21,000 per game). The teams play a 148-game regular season schedule, culminating in the Konuri (“Grand Series”). The league is considered slightly better than Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, and it is widely regarded as the second best baseball league in the world behind Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. Major League Baseball (MLB) players, scouts, and sabermetricians describe play in the JINZX as “AAAA+”; slightly less competitive than in the MLB, but more competitive than NPB and AAA minor league baseball.