The sport’s actual world championship event unfolds not in October in New York, Boston or Los Angeles, but rather at scattered locations across Europe in early September. The MLB “Fall Classic” of course has nothing at all to do with “world” or “international” competitions but rather merely decides a North American “corporate” baseball champion. And the novel World Baseball Classic now staged every fourth year in March is only a small step closer to a true international event, given that (with the exception of Cuba’s entry) that affair is restricted to but a handful of countries boasting MLB-owned ballplayers.
For the crowning of a true WORLD champion one must turn to the alternate-year IBAF-sponsored Baseball World Cup tournament, now about to open in Europe for its 38th edition. This year’s event will be staged at multiple venues for the first time, with first-round games (involving 20 nations) commencing in Spain, Germany, Croatia, Sweden and the Czech Republic on September 9-10. Round two action (including Italy and Holland which own first-round byes) will move to venues in The Netherlands and Italy, with the title match slatted for September 27th in Nettuno, Italy.
Those interested in following this event (admittedly from a Cuban perspective) can do so on our website at www.baseballdecuba.com. I will be trailing the Cuban team to their round one and two venues in Barcelona and Holland, and then on to the finals in Italy. Our detailed World Cup page contains not only my daily English-language reports but also numerous Spanish and English tournament news items, history, schedules, standings, detailed statistics, photos, and even radio and television feeds for all Team Cuba games. This promises to be the most detailed World Cup page found anywhere on the internet.
The World Cup website homepage can be found at the following link:
For a detailed story on the recently released Team Cuba roster, the reader is also directed to the following link:
And for information on the Team USA roster, as well as the prospects for the American entry, the reader is directed to the following USA BASEBALL website link:
Cuba has captured the world championship (the event was known as the IBAF Amateur World Series until its renaming in 1988) in 25 of the 29 years that it has entered, including a recent string of nine straight titles between 1982 and 2007. Team USA (led by Evan Longoria) claimed its first-ever crown with a 6-3 gold medal win over the Cubans in Taipei back in November 2007. (The USA did win two similar alternate events staged outside the IBAF framework in 1973 and 1974.) Will the Americans be up to the challenge of protecting their new-found championship status this time around, or will the juggernaunt Cubans return to a long-accostumed position of domination? Stay tuned to www.baseballdecuba.com for all the daily reports and live tournament action.