Press Release World Baseball Classic, Inc.
ROSTERS FOR 2009 WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC ANNOUNCED
Fifty-two (52) Major League Baseball All-Stars Are Among the Selected Players
World Baseball Classic, Inc. announced the final rosters for the 16 national teams competing in the 2009 World Baseball Classic on Tuesday.
Fifty-two (52) Major League Baseball All-Stars are among the players named to the final rosters for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The rosters include eight players who have won a total of 10 American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards and two pitchers who have won a total of four A.L. and N.L. Cy Young Awards. There are four players who have won a combined seven Most Valuable Player Awards of Nippon Professional Baseball and three Japan Series MVP winners, along with two players of the Korean Baseball Organization who have won MVP honors a combined six times.
The defending World Baseball Classic Champion Team Japan will feature the inaugural event’s Most Valuable Player in 2006, Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox, and 2001 A.L. MVP and eight-time A.L. All-Star Ichiro Suzuki. Overall, nine members of the 2006 World Baseball Classic Champions are returning for this year’s edition. Among the newcomers is 22-year-old Nippon Ham Fighters right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish, who went 16-4 with a 1.88 ERA and 208 strikeouts (200.2 IP) in 2008.
Managers and coaches participating in the 2009 World Baseball Classic include National League Most Valuable Players Larry Walker (Canada coach) and Barry Larkin and Mike Schmidt (USA coaches). Other notable coaches include Bert Blyleven (coach, Netherlands); 12-time N.L. All-Star catcher Mike Piazza (coach, Italy); the pitcher with the third most saves in baseball history, seven-time All-Star Lee Smith (coach, South Africa); and 1981 N.L. Cy Young Award winner Fernando Valenzuela (coach, Mexico). Former Major League managers involved in the tournament are Terry Collins (manager, China), Felipe Alou (manager, Dominican Republic), Luis Pujols (coach, Dominican Republic), Mike Hargrove (coach, Italy), Tom Trebelhorn (coach, Italy) and Davey Johnson (manager, USA).
About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players – 235 of them from MLB organizations – representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games – 16 of which sold out – and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. Broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world, the inaugural tournament had 50 official sponsors and 21 official licensees. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The next tournament will be held in March 2009 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.