Cuba national baseball team
|Cuba national baseball team|
|Federation||Baseball Federation of Cuba|
|Confederation||Pan American Baseball Confederation|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Appearances||4 (First in 2006)|
|Best result||2nd (1 time, in 2006)|
|Appearances||5 (First in 1992)|
|Best result||1st (3 times, most recent in 2004)|
|Appearances||35 (First in 1939)|
|Best result||1st (25 times, most recent in 2005)|
|Appearances||13 (First in 1979)|
|Best result||1st (10 times, most recent in 2006)|
|Pan American Games|
|Appearances||16 (First in 1951)|
|Best result||1st (12 times, most recent in 2007)|
The Cuba national baseball team represents Cuba at regional and international levels. The team is made up from the most professional players from the Cuban national baseball system. Cuba has been described as a baseball powerhouse and currently ranks 7th in WBSC's world rankings. It has medalled in all five Olympics in which baseball was played. Cuba played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The team will try to qualify for the 2020 Olympics at the eight-team Americas Qualifying Event.
|Cuba roster - 2020 Summer Olympics Qualifier|
World Baseball Classic, Olympics, and IBAF World Cup history
Cuba participated in the inaugural World Baseball Classic tournament, though there was controversy over Cuban involvement, due to the United States embargo against Cuba. Cuba reached the finals of the tournament, but lost in the final to Japan by a score of 10–6.
Cuba again participated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, playing its first-round games in Pool B at Foro Sol in Mexico City. Cuba advanced to the second round with wins over South Africa and Australia. However, they lost to Japan twice in the 2nd round, and were eliminated. It was their first elimination before the finals in an international tournament since 1951.
For the third time ever, Cuba participated in the WBC, this time in the 2013 World Baseball Classic in Pool A in the Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka, Japan, facing off against China, Japan, and newcomers Brazil. The Cuban team beat all three teams to proceed to the second round in Pool 1 to face off against the Netherlands, losing 6–2 in the first preliminary round. They played Chinese Taipei, winning 14-0 to face off against the Dutch team once again, but lost 7–6, thus eliminating the Cuban team from reaching the finals for the second time.
Cuba participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Cuban hitters Frederich Cepeda and Alfredo Despaigne had each hit six home runs in the WBC in their careers, tied for the most in World Baseball Classic history.
Team Cuba advanced into the second round, where it lost its first game to undefeated Pool A winner Team Israel. Former Major League starting pitcher Jason Marquis (in 5.2 innings) and three Team Israel relief pitchers (including Brad Goldberg and Josh Zeid, who both threw 96 mph fastballs) kept Team Cuba to five hits and one run, a homer by Despaigne, who became the all-time World Baseball Classic home run leader. Pool A MVP catcher Ryan Lavarnway had two hits for Israel. Cuba went on to lose all 3 games they played and failed to advance to the championship round.
The Cuban team has participated in every Summer Olympic Games since 1992. It has been the most successful team at the Olympics. In the five tournaments contested, they have won the gold medal three times, and the silver twice.
IBAF World Cup
2009 IBAF World Cup
Cuba was originally slated to host the 2009 Baseball World Cup, however, they willingly gave up the honor to Europe. In an effort to help baseball grow as a sport in Europe, the Baseball World Cup was hosted by a whole continent for the first time in history. The 2009 Baseball World Cup took place from September 9–27. Seven European countries hosted and participated in the tournament of 22 teams. The event was made up of five groups consisting of four teams each, for a total of 20 teams. Italy (Bollate, Bologna, Codogno, Florence, Macerata, Milano, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, San Marino, Torino, Trieste, Verona & Vicenza) and Netherlands (Rotterdam, Haarlem & Amsterdam) served as hosts of the sixteen teams of the second round (September 14–20), and therefore received first round byes. The groups are as follows:
- Group A (hosted by the Czech Republic in Prague): Czech Republic, Australia, Chinese Taipei & Mexico
- Group B (hosted by Spain in Barcelona): Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico & South Africa
- Group C (hosted by Sweden in Stockholm): Sweden, Canada, Korea & Netherlands Antilles
- Group D (hosted by Russia in Moscow): Russia, France/Great Britain, Japan & Nicaragua
- Group E (hosted by Germany in Regensburg): Germany, China, U.S.A. & Venezuela
International tournament results
World Baseball Classic
World Baseball Classic
|Puerto Rico / United States 2006||2nd|
|Mexico / United States 2009||6th|
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||Final||2nd||5||3||44||43||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Round 2||6th||4||2||36||24||No qualifiers held|
|2013||Round 2||5th||4||2||45||18||Automatically qualified|
|2017||Round 2||7th||2||4||23||40||Automatically qualified|
IBAF World Cup
- Gold: 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1961, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005
- Silver: 1941, 2007, 2009, 2011
- Bronze: 1944, 1951
- Gold: 1979, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2002, 2006
- Silver: 1981, 1997, 1999
Pan American Games
- Gold: 1951, 1963, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007
- Silver: 1967
- Bronze: 2011, 2015
Central American & Caribbean Games
- Bronze: 1946
- "Baseball World Cup big news in Cuba, no matter the outcome". CNN. 2009-09-28.
- "World Baseball Classic: Israel continues to shock the world, beats Cuba 4-1," Haaretz.
- "Blue-and-white takes on Cuba in Tokyo," The Jerusalem Post.
- Cuba Qualifies for Second Round in WBC | Escambray
- Cuba tops Australia, reaches second round of World Baseball Classic
- "Despaigne's grand slam sends Cuba to second round of WBC," The Japan Times.
- "World Baseball Classic roundup: Dominican Republic cruises" | SI.com
- Cuba vs. Israel Wrapup | 03/11/17 | World Baseball Classic
- "Israel beats Cuba to stay unbeaten in WBC '17". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Jason Marquis on dominant run in WBC '17". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Josh Zeid leading Israel's strong bullpen". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "IBAF announces groups for first round of 2009 Baseball World Cup" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- "IBAF World Cup 2009 in Europe". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
Media related to Cuba national baseball team at Wikimedia Commons