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Baseball became a medal sport at the Summer Olympics beginning in 1992. It had been a demonstration sport in several previous Olympics. The competition is overseen by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). Baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 Olympics in London, England, however both might return in the future.


[edit] Demonstration Sport

Baseball was first appeared as part of the Olympics in 1912 in Stockholm, Sweden. It was added to the program as a sport of foreign origin. An American team consiting of track and field athletes played against Sweden's first baseball club Vesterås. At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, two American teams played versus each other. Baseball was scheduled to be part of the program at the cancelled 1940 Olympics in Tokyo. The 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland featured a modified form of the baseball called pesäpallo, played between two Finnish teams. The 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia featured an one-game exhibition between an Australian team and an American Army team. The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan featured a game between a team of collegiate all-stars from the United States and Japan.

Demonstration tournaments for baseball were held at the 1984 in Los Angeles (the only time it was not a sport of foreign origin) and the 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. Eight teams competed in each year; Japan defeated the United States in the final in 1984, and the United States defeated Japan in the 1988 final.

[edit] Medal Sport

Baseball was added as an official event in 1992. It was an eight team tournament consisting of a round-robin, and a four team semifinals and finals. All players were required to be amateurs. In 2000 players were allowed to be professionals.

[edit] 1992 Olympics

The 1992 Olympics were held in Barcelona, Spain. Cuba went 9-0 to capture the gold medal.

Medal Nation
Gold Flag of Cuba Cuba
Silver Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
Bronze Flag of Japan Japan

[edit] 1996 Olympics

The 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta, Georgia. Despite the defection of star pitcher Rolando Arrojo shortly before the Olympics began, Cuba again went 9-0 to take the gold.

Medal Nation
Gold Flag of Cuba Cuba
Silver Flag of Japan Japan
Bronze Flag of United States United States

[edit] 2000 Olympics

The 2000 Olympics were held in Sydney, Australia.

Medal Nation
Gold Flag of United States United States
Silver Flag of Cuba Cuba
Bronze Flag of South Korea South Korea

[edit] 2004 Olympics

The 2004 Olympics were held in Athens, Greece.

Medal Nation
Gold Flag of Cuba Cuba
Silver Flag of Australia Australia
Bronze Flag of Japan Japan

[edit] 2008 Olympics

The 2008 Olympics were held in Beijing, China.

Medal Nation
Gold Flag of South Korea South Korea
Silver Flag of Cuba Cuba
Bronze Flag of United States United States

[edit] 2012 and Beyond

At the 117th IOC meeting in 2005, baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 Olympics. An attempt in 2009 to have the sport reinstated for the 2016 games failed.

A second attempt took place in 2013, this time for inclusion in the 2020 program, but it also failed, although largely because of IOC politics. Seven months earlier, the IOC had designated the sport of wrestling to be dropped from the program in order to make room for a new sport; the decision was universally condemned by observers as wrestling counted on a venerable tradition of being present at all Olympic games dating back to Antiquity. With powerful supporters coming out clearly in favor of the reversal of the initial decision, it was clear that wrestling would be readmitted, and that the objective of the exercise - to admit a new sport - would be defeated. This is exactly what happened when the vote took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on September 8th: wrestling received a majority of favorable votes in the first round (49), while baseball, in its combined bid with softball, received 24 for second place and squash, bidding for inclusion in the program for the first time, received 22. Thus in spite of baseball's good showing, coming out ahead of the seven other sports that were seeking admittance, the whole purpose of the exercise was defeated by the IOC's initial blunder of putting a sport as popular as wrestling on the chopping block in the first place.

IOC head Thomas Bach gave baseball some hope a year later, when he said that he would propose that future editions of the game use a more flexible program, with the host cities having the possibility of adding or dropping sports based on local preferences, something which could help the sport's case if future games are held geographic areas where it is very popular. This was expected to strongly help the case for 2020 as those Olympics were being held in Tokyo.

[edit] Competiting Nations

Nation 1984 (Demonstration) 1988 (Demonstration) 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 Olympics Gold Silver Bronze
Flag of Australia Australia T-W3 7 6 S 3 0 1 0
Flag of Canada Canada T-B3 T-W3 4 6 2 0 0 0
Flag of People's Republic of China People's Republic of China 8 1 0 0 0
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 3 B4 S 5 5 3 0 1 0
Flag of Cuba Cuba G G S G S 5 3 2 0
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic W4 6 1 0 0 0
Flag of Greece Greece 7 1 0 0 0
Flag of Italy Italy W3 7 6 7 8 4 0 0 0
Flag of Japan Japan 1 2 B S 4 B 4 5 0 1 2
Flag of South Korea South Korea 4 4 8 B G 3 1 0 1
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands B3 5 5 6 7 4 0 0 0
Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua T-B3 4 1 0 0 0
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 3 5 1 0 0 0
Flag of South Africa South Africa 8 1 0 0 0
Flag of Spain Spain 8 1 0 0 0
Flag of United States United States 2 1 4 B G B 4 1 0 2

[edit] Related Links

Baseball Olympians

International Baseball
· International Baseball Federation ·
Olympics · Premier 12 · Men's Baseball World Cup · Women's Baseball World Cup · Intercontinental Cup · World Baseball Classic · University · Junior "AAA" · Youth "AA"
Asian Games · All-Africa Games · Bolivarian Games · Central American Games · East Asian Games ·Goodwill Games · Pan American Games · South Pacific Games · Southeast Asian Games
     Africa: ABSAAll-Africa Games
     Americas: COPABEPan American Games
     Asia: BFAAsian Championship
     Europe: CEBEuropean Championship
     Oceania: BCOOceania Championship
World Map IBAF.png
Demonstration Sport
1912 | 1936 | 1940 | 1952 | 1956 | 1964 | 1984 | 1988
Medal Sport
1992 | 1996 | 2000 | 2004 | 2008
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