South Africa national baseball team

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South Africa national baseball team
Country  South Africa
Confederation African Baseball &
Softball Association
IBAF World Rank 27th (Best: 2010 = 24th)
World Baseball Classic
Appearances 3 (First in 2006)
Best result 16th (2 times, most recent in 2009)
Olympic Games
Appearances 1 (First in 2000)
Best result 8th
World Cup
Appearances 5 (First in 1998)
Best result 14th (1 time, in 2001)
All-Africa Games
Appearances 2 (First in 1999)
Best result 1st (2 times, most recent in 2003)

The South African national baseball team is a baseball team which represents the Republic of South Africa in international baseball competitions such as the World Baseball Classic and formerly the Summer Olympics.

Tournament record[edit]

World Baseball Classic[edit]

 South Africa
World Baseball Classic
Tournament Results
United States 2006 16th
Mexico 2009 16th
Medal Tally
Gold medal world.svg
Silver medal world.svg
Bronze medal world.svg
World Baseball Classic record Qualification record
Year Host(s) Round Position W L RS RA Host W L RS RA
2006 United States Round 1 16th 0 3 12 38 No qualifiers held
2009 Mexico Round 1 16th 0 2 4 22 No qualifiers held
2013 Did not qualify United States 1 2 11 22
Total 2/3 0 5 16 60 1/1 1 2 11 22


South Africa's inclusion in the WBC was considered rather surprising by many observers. South Africa has never sent a player to Major League Baseball, indeed, the highest a South African player has ever gotten in the minor leagues has been Triple-A (Mark Miller, a catcher in the Cincinnati Reds organisation who reached AAA with the Indianapolis Indians in 1980).

In the team's first game, South Africa nearly pulled off an upset of Canada, a team consisting of mostly Major League Baseball players. South Africa took an 8–7 lead into the ninth inning before falling 11–8. This would be as close as the team would get to winning a game. The South Africans lost the next two games to Mexico 10–4, and to the United States in a mercy rule-shortened 17–0 rout.[1]


South Africa competed at the 2009 World Baseball Classic in Group B with Mexico, Cuba and Australia.

In game 1 South Africa were overpowered by international powerhouse Cuba, giving up 6 home runs in an 8–1 loss. The South African defence was a bright point in the match however, turning three double plays and 2 pickoffs.

In the group elimination match South Africa lost heavily to hosts Mexico 14–3. Although the South Africans kept it a one-run ball game heading into the 7th inning, the Mexican team pounced on the inexperienced bullpen pitchers that entered the game late on and scored 11 runs in the final three innings.

South Africa finished the 2009 WBC with an 0–2 record, with 4 runs scored and 22 conceded.

2012 Qualifier[edit]

Four qualifying tournaments were scheduled in 2012 for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, with one team advancing from each to join the 12 squads that had qualified previously by winning at least one game in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Each of the pools included one team with previous experience in the WBC, but which failed to win a single game during the 2009 tournament. South Africa was placed in Qualifier 1 with Spain, France and Israel at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.

South Africa lost the first game of this double-elimination tournament to dark horse Israel, 7–3. They moved into the loser's bracket where they eliminated France, 5–2 in 11 innings, after Paul Bell hit a 2-run double into left field in the top of the 11th. In the loser's bracket final, South Africa fell to eventual WBC qualifier Spain, 13–3, and was eliminated from the tournament. Minnesota Twins prospect, Hein Robb pitched 5.1 innings in 2 relief appearances, giving up 0 runs while striking out 4 batters during the qualifying tournament.

Olympic Games[edit]

Summer Olympics record Qualification
Year Host Round Position W L RS RA
2000 Australia Preliminary 8th 1 6 11 73 Gold medal africa.svg 1999 All-Africa Games
Defeated Guam in Africa versus Oceania Playoff
Total 1/5 1 6 11 73

The national team appeared in their first and only Olympic tournament in 2000. The team finished with a record of 1–6 with their only win against the Netherlands.

The win against the Netherlands was thanks largely to two key players:

  • Tim Harrell (P) pitched all 10 Innings in the game, giving up just two un-earned runs on five walks and six hits, with four strikeouts.
  • Ian Holness (RF) knocked in all three of South Africa's runs. He hit a Solo Home Run in the 6th Inning against Dutch starter Patrick de Lange, followed by an RBI Double off reliever Radhames Dykhoff. He finished off the run scoring by hitting another Solo Home Run in the 10th Inning, off Dutch closer Rikkert Faneyte.

South Africa gained entry into the tournament by beating Guam 3–0 in a Best-Of-Five Africa/Oceania playoff series.

All-Africa Games[edit]

All-Africa Games record
Year Host Position W L RS RA
1999 South Africa Gold medal africa.svg 1st 5 0 158 6
2003 Nigeria Gold medal africa.svg 1st Unavailable[2][3]
Total 2/2 - - - -

South Africa was the host of the All-Africa Games in 1999. South Africa won the gold medal with ease, by defeating all of the other national teams. In order of the wins South Africa won against Lesotho (43–0) with Ian Holness hitting 4 home runs and 14 RBIs, Zimbabwe (37–2), Nigeria (19–1), Uganda (31–0) and Ghana (28–3). South Africa was again the dominant power in the 2003 Games held in Abuja, cruising to the final where they beat Nigeria 15–0 to win Gold.


World Baseball Classic Qualifier 2012 South Africa Team Roster[4][edit]

Team Manager
  • Rick Magnante

2000 Summer Olympics[edit]

  • Neil Adonis
  • Clint Alfino
  • Francisco Alfino
  • Paul Bell
  • Vaughn Berriman
  • Jason Cook
  • Errol Davis
  • Simon de la Rey
  • Nick Dempsey
  • Ashley Dove
  • Darryl Gonsalves
  • Brian Harrell
  • Tim Harrell
  • Richard Harrell
  • Ian Holness
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Willem Kemp
  • More MacKay
  • Liall Mauritz
  • Glen Morris
  • Alan Phillips
  • Darryn Smith
  • Russell van Niekerk