Accounting for both players and coaches in baseball as well as women’s fastpitch softball, as of December 31st, 2018, members of our website have signed over 900 baseball and softball contracts encompassing 26 different countries. Many of these members alternate between winter and summer baseball overseas, year-after-year.
“The International Baseball Community has given me the opportunity to travel the world to places I never thought I would see in this lifetime and keep playing the game I love.”
– veteran import player Jimmy Jensen on Baseball Globetrotters season 2, episode 10
FACT: For the summer of 2019, our members signed a record 221 contracts
We continue to expand within each of the countries listed above as well as into new markets. Countries which we expect to see more importing from in the near future are New Zealand, Canada, Japan and China. We also have initiatives in place to increasing importing in the Netherlands, Italy, South Africa, United Kingdom, Croatia, Bulgaria and Poland.
The large majority of signings has been in baseball however women’s fastpitch softball is growing rapidly and we recently brought on board veteran import player Lisa Maulden to lead the charge. Lisa has been overseas since 2014 and has played in Austria, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, New Zealand twice and the Netherlands.
Currently there is more demand for fastpitch softball imports than there is supply, so we have amped up our efforts to find more talented girls who want to extend their careers overseas.
You won’t spend a dime of your own money if you are smart
For the most part our members who sign overseas can travel the world playing the game they love without dipping into their own savings. Some even manage to save money during the winters in Australia since clubs there do not pay a salary but offer jobs earning $20+ AUS or more per hour, which is their minimum wage. Imports to Australia have worked full time, part time and casual jobs at sporting facilities, hotels, construction jobs, the list goes on. It all depends on the club, their connections in the community and how much you are willing to work to support your lifestyle while there.
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Imports overseas who wish to make the most of their experience and do some traveling should bring their own savings unless they plan to work full time while in Australia and save up for traveling during the Christmas break and while they are in Europe during the summer.
This IBC podcast episode 49 with veteran overseas import Andrew Medeiros is one of many podcast interviews on the Australian baseball experience. Andrew shares some detail on his set up and the cool job he had. Andrew worked all fall and then took a three week road trip to New Zealand with other imports in the league.
Outside of Australia, the typical monthly salary for the player with no or little pro experience will range from as little as a food stipend of $250-$300 U.S. per month up to $800 U.S. a month. The experienced professionals who have had a successful minor or independent professional career usually fall between at $800 and $2,500 per month with a few earning upwards of $5000 per month.
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Those with European dual citizenship are in high demand in Europe and therefore typically get paid more than others at the same skill and experience level. If you have parents, grandparents or even great grandparents born in Europe, it is worth looking into by contacting the closest embassy of the country where they were born.
Another thing to consider is the cost of living in the country of the club which makes you an offer. For example, an offer from a club in Zurich, Switzerland for $800 per month is not the same as an offer from a club in Prague, Czech Republic for the same amount. Check out cost of living comparisons at https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living before signing contracts!
Often within an offer clubs will include a public transport pass, performance bonuses, opportunity to earn extra cash, and/or free food at the clubhouse on games days and other events of which you are required to work. These are all worth asking about if you are on a tight budget and want to maximize your experience.
If you are a college senior or an established professional who has peaked in his/her career or was recently released, baseball overseas is a great option to continue your career.
If you have any questions about playing or coaching overseas feel free to email BBJO founder David Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org