French Learn About America Through Baseball

Bulls game
The French visitors enjoy a Bulls game from the CBC suite (l-r) Patrick, Emily, Joe, Charlotte & Badra with American baseball icon Wool E. Bull.

How would you entertain a group of French business professionals from a region known for champagne and a European crossroads with history predating the Roman Empire?

Hot dogs at a Durham Bulls game, of course!

The Bulls and American Tobacco hosted a group of French visitors as part of a Rotary Club Group Study Exchange program on April 10th.

The guests, Badra, Charlotte, Emily, Patrice-Joseph (Joe) and Patrick, hailed from Burgundy, France, known for world-class wine, the Reims Cathedral and Dijon mustard.

Greystone MAnor
Greystone Manor – a 100 year old home three blocks from the DBAP

In downtown Durham the guests visited Greystone Manor, our version of a chateau, followed by a tour of American Tobacco with CBC’s Paul Pope and a Durham Bulls game, complete with hot dogs and a lesson in the game of baseball from Bulls’ VP George Habel. Bulls Administrative Assistant Leanne Jones organized the activities.

The group also visited Duke University, Duke Medical Center, the Nasher Museum and NCCU. What did they take note of on their tour?

Badra, an intensive care nurse was most impressed with computerized medical records at Duke. Charlotte, an event manager, noticed the American emphasis on innovation and customer service. The most revealing observation came from Joe about the group’s visit to Washington, DC and Arlington National Cemetery. He was surprised with the great sense of national identity in the U.S., and that “regardless of where people are from, they all unite as Americans.” 

A famous Frenchman comments on baseball:

“Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…accuracy and speed, the practiced eye and the hefty arm, the mind to take in and readjust to the unexpected, the possession of more than one talent and the willingness to work in harness without special orders, these are the American virtues that shine in baseball.”

Jacques Barzun
Frenchman, American historian and cultural observer

Thanks to CS’ George Habel for this capcom story & these capcom photos.


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