PALAU—A NATION GOVERNED BY BASEBALL PLAYERS. Palau is an archipelago in the Western Pacific with about 20,000 inhabitants. David Walter at the Deadspin website tells how baseball has dominated the cultural and sporting life of Palau since the 1920’s. (link via Marginal Revolution). Baseball was introduced to Palau by Japan in the 1920’s in order to inculcate “Yakyudo,” or “the baseball way”. In 1948 the United States organized village teams into what became the Palauan Major Leagues.
Walter says: “Baseball soon became war by other means.” He quotes Johnson Toribiong, “a legendary player-manager“,: “Young men were warriors! You had to be the macho guy….Instead of a spear, you could throw the ball.”
Walter says: “It’s hard to overstate baseball’s effect on the male Palauan mind—and, by extension, on the body politic.”