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I had the privilege of attending the 2011 Panamerican Games last month, and went to the brand new baseball stadium in Lagos de Moreno. The stadium said in big letters:

Estadio de Beisbol

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My understanding is that the correct spelling is béisbol.

I know it's common for accent marks to be left out in casual writing, or in all-caps, but this is neither casual, nor all-caps.

Is beisbol a legitimate alternate spelling (and pronunciation) of the word?

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2 Answers 2

The proper spelling is Béisbol:

Diccionario de la lengua española.

It's accented because is a palabra grave, that is to say, its stress is on the second syllable from right to left.

I've also seen the original word baseball written in spanish texts, but it should be considered an anglicismo. The same happens with football and handball.


Interesting enough, in the comparison between beisbol and baseball made with googleTrends you can see that in Spanish, the original English form is also used, but one third as often as the "Spanish" one.

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And adding béisbol to the Google trends report shows that form is barely used at all. Although it's unclear that google plays niceley with the é - you can't rank by that form, for instance. –  Flimzy Nov 16 '11 at 21:23
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Quick comment. Never seen handball used in Spain, quite likely because, unlike fútbol or béisbol that are pronounced the same way, we use balonmano for handball. –  Serabe Nov 17 '11 at 0:32
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+1 I agree, the proper spelling is béisbol (check RAE) but as shown on the Oxford's Spanish Dictionary link on Richard's answer, in Mexico, both forms are accepted. My guess is that it has to do with the Mexican accent: They pronounce béisbol as beisbol. –  Icarus Jan 4 '12 at 15:22
    
Mexico has the most Spanish speakers so they don't always do what the minority rule of the RAE tells them to do. It's pretty well-known that there are two Spanish variants for "football": fútbol and futbol, and in that case the RAE does accept both. The variation with "baseball" is obviously identical. How can a "proper" pronunciation of a loanword from English be dictated anyway. I'm sure the RAE will be edited to describe the actual situation as soon as they feel English borrowings for American sports are important enough. –  hippietrail Jun 8 '12 at 9:30

It's spelled both ways, but primarily uses the accent.

The Oxford Spanish dictionary supports this.
Wikipedia also mentions both spellings.

It's also called pelota base.

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