Looking back at a few highlights in an eventful Baseball and Softball year 2009
The greatly anticipated 38th IBAF Baseball World Cup in September was the biggest Baseball tournament, which was organized in European history. Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Croatia and San Marino were host for 22 teams to determine the new world champion through 106 games. Highlighted by the 38,000 in Regensburg a total of 126,799 or 1,196 per game were in attendance to watch the prime event of the International Baseball Federation.
Team USA, besides blowing a big lead in their opener against Venezuela (probably the best game in the BWC), dominated throughout the tournament at ease and defended their title from Taiwan 2007 with a 10-5 win over Cuba in the championship game (see highlight clip). These two teams demonstrated their leading roles in the tournament and had a combined 20-2 record against the rest of the world. Justin Smoak took home the elusive MVP trophy. He was one of many players in the BWC with Major or Minor League experience, the most in the history of the event.
The European teams played a mixed role in the BWC. The Netherlands lost just to Cuba in round two and had a shot at the championship game going into the final round, but had to settle for sixth place in the end. Spain (2-5 in round two) also impressed, handing Venezuela their first loss in the event with a lopsided 8-1 win in round two. Italy (2-5) as host and Great Britain (0-7) also reached the second round. Germany (1-2), Sweden (0-3), Czech Republic (0-3) and Croatia (0-3) were eliminated in the first round.