Olympic baseball (dubbed an exhibition sport/event by the IOC) returned after a twenty-year break, although with tournament format (1984 Los Angeles). Baseball was withdrawn from the Olympic program due to a lack of top players, according to the International Olympic Committee.
In 1992, the United States Olympic Committee voted down proposals to have baseball reinstated as an official Olympic sport. The USOC has stated that it will continue to support baseball's development but won't lobby for its inclusion on future Olympic programs.
Since its inception in 1892, the Summer Olympics have included eight different baseball events. Japan has won the most gold medals with five. The United States has won three gold medals. The other two countries to have multiple gold medals are Canada and Cuba. Canada has won two gold medals while Cuba has won one. No country has won more than four gold medals.
Baseball has been played at every Summer Olympic Games since it debuted in 1904. The only omissions were during World War I in 1918 and 1940, when the war prevented any form of organized sports from being held. Baseball was also not included in the 1932 Olympic program but instead went unofficially recognized by the IOC as a "demonstration sport". Today, all sports included in the Olympic program must be officially recognized by the IOC in order to be held.
Basketball is an Olympic sport, although baseball is not. Baseball was an Olympic sport for a brief period of time, from 1992 to 2008, however it has been dropped for the 2012 games. Baseball's elimination is motivated mostly by the sport's lack of global popularity. Cheerleaders (6) and skateboards (3) were also removed from the program after only one event each was held.
In 1884, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that baseball was too similar to cricket and that there were already enough sports at the Olympics. They also felt that baseball was too dependent on location and weather conditions to be able to offer something unique to other sports. However, baseball/softball has made a comeback in recent years as an exhibition sport at major league baseball games. There are still hopes that the IOC will change its mind about this decision.
In 2000, the United States men's national baseball team won the gold medal game against Japan, which was their first win in the history of the tournament. Since then, they have become known as "The Americans" because so many American players are now born abroad that no country can claim them all. In 2008, the United States again beat Japan to win the gold medal.
Since its introduction into the Olympics, baseball/softball has grown in popularity worldwide.
Baseball was voted out of the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, but it was returned for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Baseball will not be played in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, but it is anticipated to be resurrected for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Teams are generally reluctant to allow their elite players to compete in the Olympics. MLB, the MLBPA, and the International Baseball Federation agreed to a regulation in 2020 that allows players in MLB clubs who are not on the 40-man roster to participate in the games. Each team will be allowed to have up to three non-roster invitees.
In 2008, Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers was given a 24-hour ultimatum by the Olympic committee to decide whether he wanted to go to Beijing or not. He decided to stay with the team, but was forced to withdraw from the tournament after breaking his hand while hitting over the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium. Ramirez said that he would have played if the injury had been discovered before the decision was made for him to go or not go. In 2012, Jose Reyes of the New York Mets also had an offer similar to Manny's extend itself, but he too stayed with the team and helped the team win the World Series.
In 2016, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles attended one of the trials for the American baseball team but wasn't allowed to play due to injury. The next year, he again tried out but this time was allowed to join the team. He participated in two games as part of a defensive replacement unit.
There's a reason it's called a hobby. Baseball, unlike football and basketball, has been around since the nineteenth century. Despite the fact that professional baseball had not yet been created, the sport existed throughout the Civil War. It's only in the last 100 years that it has become a popular activity for people to watch on television.
Baseball is played by two teams of nine players each. There are several different types of pitches used in baseball including fastballs, curves, knuckle-curves, splitters, and spares. A batter tries to hit the ball so that his team can score more runs than their opponents. In order for this to happen, they need good hitters who know how to work the count.
The object of the game is to advance one's team's home plate closer to the opposing team's home plate than the other way around. This is done by hitting the ball with a bat while trying to keep your own home plate out of reach of the incoming pitch.
During a game, coaches give their players instructions from the dugout and managers make strategic decisions such as when to replace a player who gets injured or leaves the game due to inactivity. Coaches and managers are not allowed to talk to the players between innings, but they can give signals or words through an assistant coach or manager.
Despite the fact that the Americas produced the great majority of the world's best baseball-playing nations, only two teams from the area qualified for prior Olympics. Europe, whose baseball countries were somewhat weaker, entered two teams as well. The first European team to do so was the gold medal winner at the 1900 Games; they went on to win another three medals in 1904, 1908, and 1912.
The United States fielded a team in both the 2004 and 2008 games. Previously, America's only appearance came in 1936 when they took part in what was then known as the Olympic Baseball Tournament. The U.S. lost their first game to Japan 9-8 before coming back to defeat Canada 10-7 for third place. In 2008, the U.S. finished with a record of one win and five losses. They also played in the 1969 tournament but did not qualify for the next stage. Mexico has been invited to join the United States as its second baseball playing nation at the Olympics.
In addition to these two countries, Argentina has expressed an interest in participating at the Olympics as a baseball nation. The country last competed in 1992 when it took part in the Barcelona Games as part of the Hispanic world championships. They ended up finishing seventh out of eight countries.
There are no plans to include baseball in the 2020 Tokyo Games.