Baseball TonightBehind The Scenes

MNB’s 2016 Global Game debut showcases Venezuelan stars

Native Venezuelans Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers are among the players to be showcased on Monday Night Baseball.
Monday Night Baseball presents the first of its four-part Global Game series tonight.
Doug Glanville  (Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)
Doug Glanville
(Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

ESPN’s Global Game series, which celebrates cultural influences on the game of baseball, returns tonight with a special episode of Monday Night Baseball (Detroit Tigers at Washington Nationals, 7 p.m. ET., ESPN).

The telecast will feature three-time All-Star and Venezuelan-born former major league pitcher Carlos Zambrano as a guest analyst, interviews with Tigers players Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, a fielding demo with Tigers’ first base coach and 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel and more.

ESPN MLB analyst Doug Glanville will play a central role throughout the entire four-part series this season. Front Row recently spoke with Glanville about his involvement in the Global Game.

Describe what the Global Game series brings to ESPN’s MLB coverage.
The Global Game series brings a celebration and education of the powerful diversity that make up baseball. It also shows that baseball is more than just a kaleidoscope of colors but an inclusive team sport whose players bring a rich history to the game. We are able to unearth some of the most inspiring stories in baseball, finding out that every society had figures as influential and earth-shaking as Jackie Robinson.

Phil Orlins, senior coordinating producer, on Global Game series:

“On a Global Game telecast, we unify our story-telling efforts around a single area of international significance to Major League Baseball. Our goal is to leave the viewer a little better educated on the significance of baseball around the world.”

Describe the importance of highlighting the many cultures that make up Major League Baseball.
Baseball was transformed in 1947 by crossing a color line in a major American institution as baseball is and was at the time. The many cultures that now make up our game bring great potential for addressing many of the challenges our societies around the game still face. It provides a platform and shared space for conversation through a shared passion. Highlighting these cultures empowers fans of these cultures, opens up communications that did not previously exist and presents the opportunity that we can all improve in our understanding of each other.

Editor’s note: Tonight’s MNB telecast will also feature the debut of the song Si No Tiene El Swing by popular reggaeton recording artists Alexis & Fido as part of ESPN’s special musical collaboration for the 2016 MLB season.

What will your role be for tonight’s Venezuela game and going forward with the series?
My role will be to add some historical context through the lens of playing with and against many players who hailed from Venezuela. These players do not have to be superstars to have changed perceptions or carry a fascinating legacy with them. I come from an experience and childhood that lifted up the idea of an inclusive society so I have a great passion for what is possible with open access to all the stories that make up our game. I hope to help tell those stories.

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