United States national baseball team
|IBAF World Rank||1st|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Appearances||3 (First in 2006)|
|Best result||4th (1 time, in 2009)|
|Appearances||4 (First in 1992)|
|Best result||1st (1 time, in 2000)|
|Appearances||24 (First in 1938)|
|Best result||1st (4 times, most recent in 2009)|
|Appearances||16 (First in 1973)|
|Best result||1st (2 times, most recent in 1981)|
|Pan American Games|
|Appearances||15 (First in 1951)|
|Best result||1st (1 time, in 1967)|
The United States National Baseball team represents the United States of America in international baseball competitions. The United States has won the Baseball World Cup 4 times, including 2 of the final 3 tournaments. It is currently ranked first in the IBAF World Rankings. The team is governed by USA Baseball.
- 1 Primary National Team Tournament Records
- 1.1 2006: Inaugural Classic
- 1.2 2009: America's best finish
- 1.3 2013: Stiffer competition; America misses the finals again
- 1.4 Olympic Games
- 1.5 Amateur World Series and Baseball World Cup
- 1.6 Intercontinental Cup
- 1.7 Pan American Games
- 1.8 Haarlem Baseball Week
- 1.9 World Port Tournament
- 2 Collegiate National Team
- 3 Other national teams
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
Primary National Team Tournament Records
| United States
World Baseball Classic
|United States 2006||8th|
|Canada / United States 2009||4th|
|United States 2013||6th|
In June 2005, Major League Baseball announced the formation of the World Baseball Classic, a 16 nation international competition to be held in March of 2006 for the first time. A month after this announcement, the IOC voted to eliminate baseball from the 2012 London Olympic Games, leaving the WBC as the only international tournament to feature professionals who play in Major League Baseball.
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||United States||Round 2||8th||3||3||33||19||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Canada/United States||Semifinals||4th||4||4||50||54||No qualifiers held|
|2013||United States||Round 2||6th||3||3||28||18||Top 12, 2009 World Baseball Classic|
|2017||Top 12, 2013 World Baseball Classic|
2006: Inaugural Classic
On January 17, 2006, the United States announced its provisional 60 man roster (52 players in all), and whittled down the star-studded squad mixed with youth and experience to just thirty players on February 14, 2006. Sixteen of the thirty Major League clubs were represented on the 2006 squad, including multiple representatives from the New York Yankees (4), Houston Astros (3), Washington Nationals (3), Atlanta Braves (2), Boston Red Sox (2), Chicago Cubs (2), Colorado Rockies (2), Houston Astros (2), and Texas Rangers (2). The fact that four Yankees were selected for the squad irked Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who was opposed to the WBC being held in the middle of spring training to the point where at his team's complex in Tampa, Florida, he posted a sign apologizing for their absence and mocking the tournament in the process. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig promptly ordered him to take down the sign the next day.
Manager Buck Martinez brought his 17 years of professional experience as a major league catcher, and 1+ seasons as Toronto Blue Jays' (2001–2002) skipper to the U.S. team. Former big league managers Davey Johnson and Marcel Lachemann served as hitting coach and pitching coach, respectively.
Along with fellow North American rivals Canada and Mexico, the U.S. hosted the South Africa. Round One games were held at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona and Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. The top two teams advanced to Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. Despite a surprising loss to Canada, the United States advanced to the second round via tiebreaker. However, second-round losses to South Korea and Mexico allowed Japan to advance over the Americans via tiebreak.
2009: America's best finish
The United States competed in Pool C of the 2009 World Baseball Classic along with Italy, Venezuela and host Canada. The U.S. won the pool opener against Canada by a score of 6-, and secured advancement into Round 2 by defeating Venezuela in a 15–6 slugfest. Venezuela, however, came back to defeat the U.S. in the championship game of Pool C, 5–3.
On March 14, in their first match of round 2 against Puerto Rico, in Miami, Florida's Dolphin Stadium, the United States was mercy ruled for the first time in international competition, losing 11–1 in seven innings. Adam Dunn and Captain Derek Jeter were among the ones to voice their distaste with the severe beating. Manager Davey Johnson even stated "I should have stayed there", referencing a wedding he was at earlier in the day.
The United States came on strong the following day against the surprising Netherlands (who had already eliminated a tournament super power: The Dominican Republic), jumping out to a 6–0 lead in the fourth inning, and winning 9–3. With Puerto Rico losing to Venezuela 2–0 the following day, the U.S. would face Puerto Rico once again in the qualifying round. The loser would be eliminated from the tournament. With Puerto Rico leading 5–3 in the 9th inning, singles by Shane Victorino and Brian Roberts and walks by Jimmy Rollins and Kevin Youkilis cut the lead to 5–4 for New York Mets third baseman David Wright, who looped a barely-fair single into right that brought in Roberts and Rollins to win the game, 6–5, advancing to the semifinals while eliminating Puerto Rico. The United States would go on to lose to Japan 9–4 in the second semifinal.
2013: Stiffer competition; America misses the finals again
The United States team competed in Pool D of the 2013 World Baseball Classic along with Italy, Canada and Mexico. The US team lost to Mexico in the first round 5-2, but later won two games against Canada and Italy, securing their place for the second round, along with Italy, on Pool 2.
On March 12, they beat Puerto Rico 7-1, which then proceeded to face off against the Dominican Republic on March 14, losing 3-1 where they face off Puerto Rico once again the next day, as Puerto Rico beat the American team 4-3, thus eliminating them from the tournament and failing to reach the finals for the third time.
|Olympic medal record|
Although single exhibition games had been played in conjunction with five previous Olympics, the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles was the first to feature a tournament in the program, and also the first time that the sport was played in Olympics held in the United States. Eight teams competed in the tournament held at Dodger Stadium. Cuba, after winning the gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games, was to participate, but did not as a result of the Soviet-led boycott. The US national team finished second to Japan, however, no medals were given as Baseball at the 1984 Summer Olympics was a demonstration sport.
|Summer Olympics record||Qualification|
|1912||Sweden||Exhibition only [a]||1||0||13||3|
|1936||Germany||Exhibition only [b]||0||1||5||6|
|1984||United States||Final||2nd [c]||4||1||38||10||Host|
|1988||South Korea||Final||1st [c]||4||1||36||18|
|1996||United States||Bronze Match||3rd||7||2||93||41||Host|
|2000||Australia||Final||1st||8||1||49||16||1999 Pan American Games|
|2004||Greece||Did not qualify||Quarter-finalist, 2004 Americas Olympic Baseball Qualifying Tournament|
|2008||People's Republic of China||Bronze Match||3rd||6||3||50||36||2008 Americas Olympic Baseball Qualifying Tournament|
- Team composed of U.S. Olympic team members
- Played between two U.S. teams, one of Olympic team members, and a second composed of American amateur baseball players
- No medals awarded; tournament was a demonstration sport only
- Totals only include years 1992 to 2008, during which baseball was an official medal sport.
2000: The United States wins gold
The US won its only gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Baseball had its debut as an official medal sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The US finished fourth, behind Cuba, Japan and Chinese Taipei. In 2004, the US had to face the embarrassment of not even qualifying for the Olympics in Athens, Greece.
2008: Final appearance for Olympic baseball
The United States qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics by winning the American Qualifying Tournament. They won the Bronze medal at the Beijing games, finishing behind South Korea (Gold) and Cuba (Silver).
At the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting on July 8, 2005, baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, becoming the first sports voted out of the Olympics since Polo was eliminated from the 1936 Summer Olympics.
2008 USA Baseball Olympic Team roster
Amateur World Series and Baseball World Cup
|Amateur World Series and Baseball World Cup record|
|1938||United Kingdom||2 of 2||1||4||14||20||1974||United States||1||1994||Nicaragua||8|
|1939||Cuba||3 of 3||0||6||1978||Italy||2||1998||Italy||8|
|1973||Nicaragua||1||Total||25/39||4 7 4||-||-||-||-|
The U.S. was in group A of the 2007 IBAF World Cup, along with Chinese Taipei, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Italy, Spain and South Africa. The U.S. went 6–1 to win their group, with their only loss coming on November 9, 2007 against Italy. It was the U.S.'s first loss to Italy in 21 years and the first time it ever lost to Italy with professional players, as the team consisted of Major League players and top minor league prospects.
This one loss, however, would be their only. The U.S. went on to beat Korea, Netherlands and Cuba to capture the gold.
In Round 1 of the 2009 Baseball World Cup, the U.S. (2–1) finished second in Group E and advanced with first-place Venezuela (3–0). In Round 2, the U.S. was joined by the nine other first- and second-place teams from Round 1, four wild-card teams, and the two principal host teams (Italy and the Netherlands). The sixteen teams were divided into Groups F and G. The U.S. (7–0) defeated each of the other seven teams in Group G. In Round 3, the first four teams in Group F were renamed Group 1 and the first four teams in Group G were renamed Group 2. The U.S. finished first in Group 2 with a record of 7–0; Cuba finished first in Group 1, with a 5–2 record. In the Final Round, Group 1 and 2's fourth-place teams competed for overall seventh place; the two third-place teams competed for overall fifth place; and the two second-place teams competed for the bronze medal. In the gold-medal game, the U.S. defeated Cuba, 10–5.
Tournament awards were given to Justin Smoak (MVP) and Todd Redmond (best won/loss average (pitcher)). Smoak (first base) was also named to the tournament All-Star Team, along with Jon Weber (outfield) and Terry Tiffee (designated hitter).
The Intercontinental Cup is a tournament between the members of the IBAF. It was first held in 1973 in Italy, and was held every other year following until 1999. Since, there has been a competition in 2002 & 2006, both of which, the U.S. has chosen to sit out. As with many international baseball competitions, it has been dominated by Cuba, who has won ten gold & three silver in the 16 tournaments. Japan is second in medal ranking, with two gold, five silver & five bronze, and the U.S. is third, with two gold, four silver & two bronze.
Pan American Games
The U.S. and Cuba have been arch rivals at the Pan American Games ever since the event began in 1951. The U.S. has finished second behind Cuba eight of the twelve times they have brought home the gold. Likewise, when the U.S. won the gold medal at the 1967 Pan American Games, Cuba finished second.
In total, the U.S. has won one gold medal, nine silver medals and three bronze. The only games the U.S. failed to medal in were 1979 and 1995. For the 1995 games, the U.S. did not send their national team, but instead the St. John's University baseball team, who finished 0–4 against the international All-star teams. The 16th Pan American Games are to take place in October 2011, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. It will be the largest multi-sport event held in Mexico outside Mexico City.
The U.S. competed in Group A at the 2007 Pan American Games, along with Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The U.S. emerged from Group A with a 3–0 record, and defeated Mexico 2–1 in the second round to set up a championship game against their nemeses, Cuba. Cuba won the gold for the tenth time in a row, while the U.S. settled for the silver. The bronze was awarded to both Mexico and Nicaragua as rain canceled their bronze medal match up.
Haarlem Baseball Week
World Port Tournament
Collegiate National Team
USA Baseball also fields a Collegiate National Team which has 22 members of top collegiate baseball players in the country, consisting of five infielders, four outfielders, two catchers, nine pitchers and a pair of two-way players. The team competes in exhibition games across the U.S. and overseas against teams from across the world, including teams from Canada, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands. The 2009 team won the World Baseball Challenge in Canada.
Players who taken the field for the Collegiate National Team and have gone onto Major League Baseball success include such notables as Jim Abbott, Troy Glaus, Todd Helton, Ryan Howard, Barry Larkin, Tino Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, Huston Street, Mark Teixeira, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Varitek, Carlos Rodon, and Ryan Zimmerman.
Other national teams
USA Baseball also fields an 18U, 15U, and 12U National baseball team. Previous National Teams include 16U and 14U National Teams. USA Baseball also hosts two National Team Development Programs in the age divisions of 17U and 14U. The selection processes for these programs can be found on the official website of USA Baseball.
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