EFE. The fifth edition of World Baseball Classic is close to singing ‘play ball’ con 20 selectionsthe largest number of participants in the history of the event, and in a tournament of this relevance there are always curiosities and statistics to tell for lovers of ‘hot ball’
Here are some data from the World Classic that will be played in four venues: Taichung, Taiwan; Tokyo Japan; and Phoenix and Miami in the United States.
1. A history of Major League Baseball and who will be the manager of the Puerto Rico team, former catcher Yadier Molina, is the only position player to be chosen twice in the ideal team of the World Classic. Molina played 19 years for the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he won the World Series twice.
2. According to the organization of the tournament, 690 players of 34 nationalities and 20 countries will play. The teams that have the greatest number of foreigners on their ‘roster’ are Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
3. One of the legendary managers in this event is from Canada: former receiver Ernie Whitt, who with his working group made up of coaches Denis Boucher, Greg Hamilton, Larry Walker and Tim Leiper; they have remained in front of the ninth since the first World Classic was played in 2006, although they have never made it past the first round.
4. The maximum number of runs scored in a World Classic game is held by Japan, which scored 18 against China in the first edition of the contest.
5. Some lights from Colombia. Manager and former major leaguer Jolbert Cabrera would play with Gio Urshela at third base, Meibrys Viloria as catcher, Óscar Mercado in left field and Harold Ramírez in right field. The pitcher José Quintana would start the first game, Colombia is part of group C based in Phoenix along with the United States, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom.
6. In this fifth edition of the tournament, which will be played from March 8 to 21, the stadium with the lowest capacity is the Intercontinental in Taichung, with a capacity for 20,000 spectators, and the largest is Chase Field in Phoenix, with 48,686, the Home of the Arizona DiamondBacks of Major League Baseball.
7. The stadium of the Miami Marlins, LoanDepot Park, home of group D, has a capacity for 36,742 fans and the Caribbean Series will be played on that same stage in 2024.
8. According to various information from bookmakers, the Dominican Republic team is the fan favorite to win the title. The ninth Dominican won the championship for the first time in the 2013 edition.
9. All the venues in which the last stage of the tournament has been played have been American cities. In 2003 the final venue was San Diego, in 2009 Los Angeles, in 2013 San Francisco, in 2017 Los Angeles repeated and this year it will be Miami.
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10. It is the first time that Cuba includes players from the Major Leagues. Three are position players: third baseman Yoán Moncada, 27; outfielder Luis Robert, 25, both with the Chicago White Sox; and Andy Ibáñez, 29 and ‘infielder’ for the Detroit Tigers. Also joining the team was pitcher Roenis Elías from the Chicago Cubs. EFE