Three Strikes and You’re Out!


The Japan team captain, Shohei Ohtani, pitching a ball similar to the one that struck Trout out. Courtesy of Takayuki Suzuki.

Jonah Shih

On March 7, at 8:00 PM, the World Baseball Classic began. The international baseball tournament, which would include a more broad roster, full of amazing players from each respective country. The 20 teams that participated all gathered their best players to put on astonishing baseball games throughout the whole of the competition.
Immediately, the tournament started off with intensity. Coming back from a 2 year hiatus due to the pandemic, players displayed their athletic talent from the get-go. This competition reopened the sort of entertaining and thrilling games baseball had been missing for a while. Creating a competitive atmosphere, as each country would come together to support their home team. 

The teams that participated in the competition this year were Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, Colombia, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, The Netherlands, The United States, and much more. The stadiums that these teams would battle it out in were all around the world, such as The Marlins Stadium in Miami and, Chinese Taipei’s Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium.

Unlike the several World Baseball Classics before, the one that took place this year was even more interesting from the rest due to the one simple factor that during this tournament, there were the stars of the MLB included. Before, the players in the league were unable to participate due to their teams insurance issues. Playing the games in the WBC could easily injure them, resulting in them unable to perform during their actual season. This year, almost every team had a big shot name in their roster that boosted the level of excitement for fans. 

Even with all the good competition however, still there was one particular game that was the most anticipated. Team Japan vs. team USA. Star player that is currently dominating the MLB,  Shohei Ohtani, led his team to victory after the exciting match up with the USA captain, MLB MVP Mike Trout. One of the best pitchers, Ohtani, and one of the hitters, Trout. Luckily, this game really did come to pass, and what’s more, during the final. 

The two feared players are usually on the same MLB team, the Los Angeles Angels, but this time, they could finally face each other. The once friendly duo turned into rivals in order to properly represent their countries, and win the grand title. Though the game had come close at the end, Team Japan still managed to win it all, ending with the actual desired matchup, Shohei and Trout. 

 With one final pitch from the captain of Japan, and the missed swing from the captain of the US, Japan takes home the trophy, reclaiming their title on top for having the best baseball.  The one moment was the one of the greatest for not only the World Classic, but also in the history of baseball. 

While the competition this year has unfortunately come to an end, it will still be remembered for having some of the best games and moments ever in the sport. Eventually, the World Baseball Classic will return in 2026. 

The Competition has piqued many people’s interest and gotten them hooked on the sport baseball. Some may wait another four years, and others start watching the MLB. Either way, Baseball is striking out their sport competitions and gaining new fans around the world.