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Interesting Facts About Olympic Sports-Baseball

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Cuba-traditionally the powerhouse in baseball- were beaten by the Dominican Republic at the 1982 Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana, Cuba. The Dominican Republic won the gold medal. The champions were Victor Mercedes, Orlando Guerrero, Enrique Cruz, Johnny Olivo, Julio Dominguez, Mario Marte, Pedro Gomez, Ivan Crispin, Wilfredo Fernandez.

Final standings:

1. Dominican Republic (gold medal)

2. Cuba (silver medal)

3. Netherlands Antilles (bronze medal)

4. Panama

5. Venezuela

6. Nicaragua

7. Puerto Rico

The American senior men’s national team won the silver medal at the 1975 Pan American Games. The U.S team was coached by Smeltzly Hal.

In 1998, Sammy Sosa (Dominican Republic/ Chicago) was elected the “Most Valuable Player of the National League” by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Nicaragua is one of the best teams in Latin America. At the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas (Venezuela), Nicaragua took the silver medal and won the right to compete at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles (California,USA). The players were:Julio Cesar Medina, Leonardo Alberto, Roberto Espino, Juan Gardamez, Ariel Ramon Delgado, Jose Apolinar Cruz, Cayetano Fabio ,Cruz Ulloa Mayorga, Arnoldo Muñoz Picha, Julio Cesar Sanchez, Tomas Guzman Gudiel, Alvaro David Palaci, Luis Alberto Arauz, Roger Torres Lopez, Adolfo Ramon Alvarez, Cesar Monjes Reyes, Daniel Antonio Sote, Julio Antonio Moya, Elvin Jose Jarquin, Diego Manuel Raudez.

Japan won the gold medal at the 1973 Intercontinental Cup in Italy.

Final standings:

1. Japan

2. Puerto Rico

3. USA

4. Nicaragua

5. Canada

6. Italy

7. Taiwan/Chinese Taipei

8. Argentina

In 1965, Zoilo Versalles (Cuba/ Minnesota) was named the “Most Valuable Player of the American League” by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Spain hosted the 13rd Baseball Intercontinental Cup in 1997.

Final standings:

1. Japan

2. Cuba

3. Australia

4. USA

5. Nicaragua

6. Italy

7. France

8. Spain

In the 20th century, many Latin American have played in the American Major Leagues:Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico/ Pittsburgh), Adolfo Luque (Cuba/ Cincinnati), Sandalio Consuegra (Cuba/ Chicago), Roberto “Beto” Davila (Mexico/ Cleveland), Orlando Cepeda (Puerto Rico/ San Francisco), Tony Oliva (Cuba/ Minnesota), Felipe Alou (Dominican Republic/ Atlanta), Orestes Miñoso (Cuba/ Chicago), Sammy Sosa (Dominican Republic/ Chicago)…

Venezuela won the gold medal at the 1965 Bolivarian Games in Guayaquil (Ecuador).

Final standings:

1. Venezuela (gold medal)

2. Colombia (silver medal)

3. Panama (bronze medal)

4. Ecuador

Asia has many famous baseball players: Jan Sung Ho (South Korea), Wang Chien-Ming (Taiwan/ plays for New York Yankees), Mori Daisuke (Japan/ plays for BayStars). Under the leadership of Daisuke, Japan won the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece.

In 1967, Orlando Cepeda was named the “Most Valuable Player of the National League” by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The 18th World Junior Baseball Championship was held in Taiwan in 1999.

Final standings:

1. United States

2. Taiwan/Chinese Taipei

3. Cuba

4. Panama

5. South Korea

6. South Africa

7. Venezuela

8. Holland

9. Japan

10. Czech Republic

11. Guam (American territory)

12. Australia

The United States won the Junior World Championships two years in succession (1988 and 1989).

Source by Alejandro Guevara Onofre

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