Press Release International Baseball Federation, www.ibaf.org
U.S. CLINCHES A SPOT IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, AWAITS THE WINNER FROM POOL 1
TWO TIED FOR THE HOME RUN LEAD: With his two home runs tonight against Chinese Taipei, Alfredo Despaigne has tied the Cuban record of 9 for a single World Cup. Orestes Kindelan also had 9 in Italy in 1990. Despaigne is also now tied with the United States Justin Smoak for the tournament lead.
TV COVERAGE EXPANDS AGAIN: The International Baseball Federation today announced additional game coverage for the final games of the 2009 Baseball World Cup, currently taking place in Italy. In the United States, the MLB Network will add the USA vs. Cuba game on Thursday 24 September at 2:00 p.m. EDT, as well as the championship game from Nettuno, Italy on Sunday 27 September at 9:00 a.m. EDT. NOS in the Netherlands will add three additional games involving the Dutch team, including today’s game against Australia, tomorrow’s game against Canada and Friday’s game against the USA. This television coverage is in addition to already announced local broadcasts in Cuba, Venezuela and Italy, as well as on Eurosport2 across Europe.
FIRST GAME IN CHIETI: The Canada-Venezuela game marked the first time that a 2009 Baseball World Cup game was played in Chieti. Chieti is also scheduled to host the Chinese Taipei – Puerto Rico match tomorrow and the Australia – Puerto Rico game on Friday.
MLB INTERNATIONAL OPENS CHINA ACADEMY: Another example of baseball’s growing global footprint was announced today, as Major League Baseball International announced the opening of a baseball development center in Wuxi, China. The new academy will provide professional baseball training for middle school and high school-aged students within an academic setting. This is the latest and boldest step in the development of baseball in China. An initiative which began in 2001, continued through the Beijing Olympics and will grow into the future.
CROWDED TRAFFIC ON THE WEB: The IBAF’s official site, www.ibaf.org, has attracted over 250,000 visitors and several million page views during the first two weeks of the World Cup. These viewers have come from over 150 countries, an increase of over 60% from during its last heavy visit period, which was the Beijing Olympics.
WINNERS REMAINING IN THE FIELD: Of the eight teams advancing to the final round, four have won at least one of the 38 previous World Cups. Cuba is the leader with 25, followed by the United States (3), Venezuela (3) and Puerto Rico (1). The last European country to win was also the first, Great Britain in 1938. The last Asian team to win was Korea in 1982 and Australia’s best finish was sixth in 2007.
CUP HISTORY: This is the 38th time the Baseball World Cup has been played…it was an annual event from 1938 until 1953 and then was discontinued until 1961 in Costa Rica…it went to an event every four years in 1965 and 1969 and then back to an annual event from 1969-1976…the format then moved to every other year from 1978-1990, became a four year event in ’94 and ’98, and starting in 2001 has been played every other year…two World Cups were also played in 1973, one hosted and won by Cuba and the other hosted by Nicaragua and won by the United States.
HOST COUNTRIES: This is the first time the Baseball World Cup was held in multiple nations since its formation in 1938…Italy will host the final for the fourth time, after hosting it in 1978, 1988, and 1998…Cuba has won all three times Italy has hosted the World Cup….
THE WORLD CUP IN EUROPE: This is the seventh time Europe has hosted the World Cup…Great Britain hosted and won the inaugural Cup in 1938, defeating the United States…other than Italy (three times), the Netherlands hosted the World Cup in 1986 and 2005…other than the win by Great Britain in 1938, all of the other six World Cups held in Europe have been won by Cuba.
GLOBAL HOSTS OF THE CUP: Cuba has hosted the Cup the most times (10), while Nicaragua (5), Italy (4) and Colombia (4) have been the hosts the second and third most. Each of the three North American countries…the United States (’74) , Mexico (’51) and Canada (’90) have hosted the event once…Japan (’80), Korea (’82) and Chinese Taipei (2001 and ’07) have been Asian hosts…Venezuela has hosted the event three times and the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica have hosted the Cup once.
HOST DOES NOT FIND GOLD AGAIN: Italy’s failure to reach the final eight continues a tough run for World Cup host countries. The host country won eight of the first nine titles (Great Britain, Cuba four times, Venezuela twice, Columbia), but since 1948 the host team has only won the Gold Medal eight times…Cuba (’52, ’71,’73, ’84,’03) Colombia (’65), USA (’74), and Korea (’82)…Cuba’s win in 2003 was the only time in the last nine events the World Cup has been won by the host country and was also one of two times in the last nine the host country won a medal (host Chinese Taipei won Bronze in 2001).
RECORD-BREAKERS THUS FAR: The World Cup thus far has seen several team and World Cup records tied for fall. They include:
- The USA’s Justin Smoak has set the USA World Cup record with nine home runs thus far.
- Alfredo Despaigne has tied the Cuban World record with nine home runs.
- Cuban pitcher Miguel Gonzalez striking out ten consecutive batters against Puerto Rico in his first start (13 overall in 6 1/3 innings), one short of the World Cup mark of 11 set by former Major Leaguer Burt Hooton (Dodgers and Cubs) of the USA in 1971.
- Australia pitcher and Milwaukee Brewers pitching prospect David Welch set an Australian record with 13 strikeouts in just seven innings Tuesday against Chinese Taipei.
- USA pitcher and California Angels prospect Trevor Reckling, had 11 K’s against China last Saturday, tying the team mark of pitcher Burt Hooten, who fanned 11 consecutive batters in 1970.
- USA infielder and Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Pedro Alvarez set a team mark by hitting three home runs in Thursday’s win over Chinese Taipei