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USA Baseball was founded in 1978 and is the governing body for amateur baseball in the United States of America. It is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and organizes the U.S. Olympic baseball team. In 2000, USA Baseball was named the USOC Team of the Year.
USA Baseball organizes various teams comprised of High School, College, and Professional baseball players competing nationally and internationally.
In the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, baseball was a demonstration sport, but Team USA captured a silver and gold respectively. During the 1996 games in Atlanta, the team won the bronze medal. In 2000, for the first time ever, the team was comprised of minor league players. Guided by Tommy Lasorda, the team defeated two-time champion Cuba to capture the gold medal. However, the team failed to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympics as they lost a qualifying tournament that saw them lose to Mexico in an elimination game during the quarter-final round. Many believe that Team USA's absence may have been one of the reasons the International Olympic Committee dropped baseball from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
The USA Baseball National Team is a made up of the top freshman and sophomore players of collegiate baseball. Each year the team embarks upon the Red, White and Blue Tour to play exhibition games against various teams in the United States, including an annual tour of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The tour also features traditional match-ups against Japan and Canada. The National Team featured many MLB players like Mark McGwire, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Mark Prior, Jason Giambi, and Adam Everett.
USA Baseball also fields the Junior National Team (18-under) and the Youth National Team (16-under). It also organizes the USA Junior Olympic Baseball Championships and awards the Golden Spikes Award to the amateur baseball player of the year. Since 1998, USA Baseball has been selecting teams of Professional-level minor league players to represent the United States in various International competitions including the IBAF World Cup, IBAF Intercontinental Cup, Pan Am Games, and Olympic Regional qualifying events. These players are hand selected by USA Baseball Directors from either affiliated MLB Minor League teams or Independent League teams.
The first USA Baseball women's national team was selected in 2004 to participate in the 2004 Women's World Series in Japan and in the 2004 Women's World Cup in Edmonton. The women's national team won the Silver Medal at the Women's World Series and brought home the Gold Medal from the 2004 Women's World Cup. In 2006 the USA Baseball women's national team repeated as the Gold Medalist defeating Japan 13-11 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Team USA at the WBCEdit
In June of 2005, Major League Baseball announced the formation of the World Baseball Classic, a 16 nation international competition to be held in March of 2006 for the first time. A month after this announcement, the IOC voted to eliminate baseball from the 2012 London Olympic games, leaving the WBC as the only international tournament to feature American professionals.
On January 17, 2006, the United States announced its provisional 60 man roster (52 players in all), and whittled down the star-studded squad to just 30 players on February 14, 2006. A roster mixed with youth and experience, all teams participating in the tournament needed to have at least three catchers and thirteen pitchers. Sixteen of the thirty Major League clubs are represented on the current squad, including multiple representatives from the New York Yankees (4), Washington Nationals (3), Atlanta Braves (2), Boston Red Sox (2), Chicago Cubs (2), Colorado Rockies (2), Houston Astros (2), and Texas Rangers (2). The fact that four Yankees were selected irked Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who has been against the WBC being held in the middle of spring training to the point where at his team's complex in Tampa, Florida, he posted a sign apologizing for their absence and mocking the tournament in the process. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig promptly ordered him to take down the sign the next day.
Manager Buck Martinez will bring his 17 years of professional experience as a major league catcher, and 1+ seasons as Toronto Blue Jays' (2001-2002) skipper to Team USA. Former big league managers Davey Johnson and Marcel Lachemann serve as hitting coach and pitching coach, respectively. Rounding out the coaching staff for Team USA are Reggie Smith (hitting), Ken Griffey Sr. (first base), and John McLaren (third base).
2006 World Baseball Classic rosterEdit
- File:Flag of Texas.svg SP Roger Clemens - Houston Astros
- File:Flag of California.svg RP Chad Cordero - Washington Nationals
- File:Flag of California.svg RP Brian Fuentes - Colorado Rockies
- File:Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg RP Todd Jones - Detroit Tigers
- File:Flag of New Jersey.svg RP Al Leiter - New York Yankees (Now Retired)
- File:Flag of California.svg RP Brad Lidge - Houston Astros
- File:Flag of Texas.svg RP Gary Majewski - Washington Nationals
- File:Flag of Texas.svg RP Joe Nathan - Minnesota Twins
- File:Flag of Alabama.svg SP Jake Peavy - San Diego Padres
- File:Flag of Florida.svg RP Scot Shields - Los Angeles Angels
- File:Flag of Texas.svg RP Huston Street - Oakland Athletics
- File:Flag of Texas.svg RP Mike Timlin - Boston Red Sox
- File:Flag of Rhode Island.svg RP Dan Wheeler - Houston Astros
- File:Flag of California.svg SP Dontrelle Willis - Florida Marlins
- File:Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg Michael Barrett - Chicago Cubs
- File:Flag of Michigan.svg Brian Schneider - Washington Nationals
- File:Flag of Florida.svg Jason Varitek - Boston Red Sox
- File:Flag of Michigan.svg SS Derek Jeter - New York Yankees
- File:Flag of Florida.svg 3B Chipper Jones - Atlanta Braves
- File:Flag of California.svg 1B Derrek Lee - Chicago Cubs
- File:Flag of New York.svg 3B Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees
- File:Flag of Maryland.svg 1B Mark Teixeira - Texas Rangers
- File:Flag of California.svg 2B Chase Utley - Philadelphia Phillies
- File:Flag of California.svg SS Michael Young - Texas Rangers
- File:Flag of Kansas.svg CF Johnny Damon - New York Yankees
- File:Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg RF Jeff Francoeur - Atlanta Braves
- File:Flag of Pennsylvania.svg CF Ken Griffey Jr. - Cincinnati Reds
- File:Flag of Oklahoma.svg LF Matt Holliday - Colorado Rockies
- File:Flag of Texas.svg CF Vernon Wells - Toronto Blue Jays
- File:Flag of California.svg CF Randy Winn - San Francisco Giants
Team USA (host) is in Pool B of the four pool round-robin tournament. Along with fellow North American rivals Canada and Mexico, the pool also has Team South Africa. Round One games will be held at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona and Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. The top two teams to emerge from Pool B will advance to Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California to play the top two teams from Pool A (Japan, Korea, China and Chinese Taipei).
- March 5
- USA 11, San Francisco Giants (Split Squad) 5
- March 7
- USA 2, Mexico 0 (Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ)
- March 8
- Canada 8, USA 6 (Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ)
- March 10
- USA 17 vs. South Africa 0 (stopped in 5th inning due to Mercy Rule) at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- March 12
- USA 4, Japan 3 (Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA)
- March 13
- Korea 7, USA 3 (Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA)
- March 15
- USA 1, Mexico 2 (Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA) The United States are eliminated from the competition.
Semifinal and Final Round
- Amateur Athletic Union
- American Amateur Baseball Congress
- American Baseball Coaches Association
- American Legion Baseball
- Babe Ruth Baseball
- Dixie Baseball
- Little League Baseball
- National Amateur Baseball Federation
- National Assoc. of Police Athletic Leagues
- National Baseball Congress
- National Club Baseball Association
- National Federation of State High School Assoc.
- National High School Baseball Coaches Assoc.
- National Junior College Athletic Assoc.
- PONY Baseball
- T-BALL USA
- United States Specialty Sports Assoc. (USSSA)
- World Baseball Classic
- YMCA's of the USA