Has Team USA ever won the World Baseball Classic? How many times?
As they prepare to take on Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic final, we’re taking a look at Team USA’s history in over the various editions of the tournament.
Team USA are currently reigning World Baseball Classic champions, having won the tournament’s fourth edition in 2017, when they beat Puerto Rico 8-0 in the final. Yet, while it might surprise you to learn it, that’s the only time the U.S. have won the World Baseball Classic in it’s four editions and the only time they have made the final. Now set to face off against two-time champions Japan, the question is ‘can they defend their title?
Team USA at the World Baseball Classic
2006: Despite a surprise defeat to Canada, the U.S. got into the second round through a tiebreaker, but then defeats to South Korea and Mexico allowed Japan to advance over Team USA though a tiebreaker.
2009: The US qualified easily for the second round and despite then being mercy ruled - losing 11-1 in seven innings meaning the match ended early against Puerto Rico - they did enough to get through to the semifinals, where they were beaten by Japan, 9-4.
2013: Team USA won Pool D to move into the Second Round, where they beat Puerto Rico, lost to the Dominican Republic and then lost to Puerto Rico to go out at the quarterfinal stage.
2017: Team USA are champions! The Americans beat Colombia and Canada to reach the second round, where they beat Venezuela, lost to Puerto Rico but beat the Dominican Republic to reach the semifinal. Team USA beat Japan 2-1 to reach their first ever final, which they won in style, thrashing Puerto Rico 8-0.
Team USA: other international baseball successes
In addition to the 2017 World Baseball Classic triumph, Team USA has won the gold medal at the Olympics once, in 2000, and also won the Baseball World Cup four times. It’s worth noting, however, that until 1998 the Baseball World Cup was limited to amateur players only, and Major League Baseball never allowed players to compete.
USA vs Japan should be special
Ultimately, every sports fan knows that the past only goes so far in terms of its effect on the present. That’s to say, despite their relative lack of success over the years, the Americans do come into the final as favorites. On the other hand, the street has two directions, meaning it would be a mistake to disregard the depth and prowess of the Japanese. With arguably the best player on the planet in Shohei Ohtani, the Samurai aren’t in the finals to make up numbers. We’re banking on this one being every bit as exciting as it’s predicted to be. Don’t miss it!