Mumbai: Major League Baseball and Disney Star have collaborated with IMG and Amped Pictures to produce ‘Indian Baseball Dreams’, a docuseries that tells the story of first-generation Indian American Arjun Nimmala. Nimmala was drafted in the first round of the MLB amateur draft in July by the Toronto Blue Jays, making history as the first-ever first-generation Indian American to be drafted at such a high position across any of the four major U.S. professional sports.
The docuseries takes viewers along Nimmala’s journey to further explore his roots in his parents’ hometown of Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) and to uncover India’s sporting culture – meeting up with Ajinkya Rahane for a bit of friendly cricket, the sport Nimmala grew up practicing. Throughout the docuseries, Arjun meets India’s own budding baseball talents whose stories are also featured.
The four-part documentary has been launched on 18 October 2023, on Star Sports Select 1 & Star Sports Select 2 and the final episode will be aired on 21 October 2023, with repeat telecasts continuing until 26 October 2023. Additionally, ‘Indian Baseball Dreams’ will launch nationwide on Disney+ Hotstar in November.
This docuseries is part of an expanded partnership renewal between MLB and Disney Star. Along with broadcasting the World Series as it has done since 2020, Star Sports is airing additional rounds of the Major League Baseball Postseason live throughout October and November for the first time on Star Sports Select 1 and 2. These telecasts are produced specifically for the Indian market for the first time, and feature MLB’s best teams as they chase a World Series title.
"Indian Baseball Dreams follows Arjun Nimmala, a 17-year-old Indian American baseball prodigy, as he aims to make history by becoming the first first-generation Indian American athlete selected in the first round of a major US sport. This series highlights Arjun's exceptional talent, dedication, and the growing influence of baseball beyond borders. It's a captivating journey that bridges cultures, showcasing the universal power of sports to inspire triumph and heritage. Don't miss this incredible story of breaking barriers and developing connections between India and baseball.", said a Star Sports Spokesperson.
Manish Batavia, who has called the games in India, spoke on the experience of bringing live baseball to the Indian audience.
“The similarities between India’s biggest obsession Cricket and America’s favourite indulgence Baseball are what make it a joyride to be commentating on MLB! Drawing parallels between the two sports to build a certain familiarity and relatability with and around MLB for Indian fans has been the key objective for us,” Batavia said.
Major League Baseball, since establishing an office in India in 2019, continues to grow interest in the sport of baseball, including by running its flagship MLB Cup program, a youth tournament that has grown to include 154 teams in 2023 from across the country.
MLB India business development manager Ryo Takahashi commented, “We at MLB India continue to find ways to connect with our audience in India, where we really believe in the opportunity to grow interest in baseball. Star Sports has been a strong partner of ours to expand baseball’s reach while we continue to provide opportunities to play the game of baseball through our youth events.”