America’s MLB and MLBPA announced the intentions for the tournament in May 2005. The league was attempting to organize a tournament in previous years but there were some delays. These delays were due to discussions with the involved associations and the IBF sanctioning. Initially, the owners of the teams’ declined the invitation. Also, the players' union had concerns about the timing of the event.
Similarly, there was a conflict between Japan’s federation and its players' association. However, on September 16, 2005, NPB officially informed MLB that they had accepted the offer after four months of start-stop deliberations. Unfortunately, in the build-up to the schedule, there were doubts regarding Cuba’s participation due to the United States’ sanctions. Thus, there were mounting significant cancellation threats. However, the tournament was confirmed just weeks before it began.
Selection of participants
The selection of the tournament's original roster was by invitation. The intentions were to involve all significant international baseball nations. These were nations that generated a substantial number of pro athletes. Before the 2017 edition, the qualification criteria were revised. The result was a slightly altered roster of participant countries.
Pakistan replaced Thailand in what was their maiden appearance. Israel and South America's Colombia also made a main event debut qualification. Both had won their respective pools in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers held in the previous year. For the first time, the United States won the event, by beating Puerto Rico 8-0 in the finals despite the latter making a repeat finals appearance.
Overview of the baseball sport
A baseball game involves two teams of nine players. These players match up on a diamond-shaped field that has four white bases. The orientation of these bases is square while the diagonal line is vertical. When the game starts, three players of the batting team are put out. As batters, players challenge to knock out the ball from the fielding team's hold. After doing that, they complete an entire circuit around the bases to score a "run." The winning team must score the most runs in nine innings.