As baseball gains ground in Turkey, a town in the northern province of Samsun known for being major host of international sports events is preparing to build the country's first professional baseball and softball fields. Local officials and authorities from the Turkish Rugby Federation, which also serves as a sports body for local baseball teams, traveled to Italy to examine baseball and softball pitches there recently. Çarşamba Mayor Halit Doğan says they met Italian head of World Baseball Softball Confederation and International Baseball Federation Riccardo Fraccari and Confederation of European Baseball Didier Seminet and exchanged ideas with Italian engineers on how to construct the pitches. Baseball has long been a little-known sport with low popularity in Turkey and a baseball federation was founded only in 2002. Since then, number of baseball teams increased to 50, from only two in 2008.