Baseball in Brazil? U.S. sports rise in the land of soccer

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Children from Pirituba club, a Brazilian baseball club, are pictured during a baseball festival for children in Sao PauloBy Brian Winter SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil is and always will be a soccer country, especially during a year in which it hosts the World Cup. Nevertheless, the major U.S. sports leagues for football, baseball and basketball are seeing unprecedented growth here as Brazilians become wealthier, more worldly and even frustrated with the shortcomings of their own national pastime. The newfound success of the U.S.’ National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) here has been a surprise even to their own executives, although Rio de Janeiro’s beaches have not been taken over by touch football just yet.