Korean professional baseball is going through a verification process on the world stage once again. The World Baseball Classic (WBC), called the ‘World Baseball Festival’, opens on March 8th.
Established in 2006, the WBC will hold its 5th tournament this year. Since 2009, the competition has been held every four years. The last competition was in 2017. It was originally scheduled to be held in 2021, but due to the global spread of Corona 19, it has been held in six years.
The Korean national team, which has participated since the first tournament, has never won a championship until the fourth. However, it did well in the 1st and 2nd competitions, leading not only the potential of Korean baseball but also the popularity of domestic baseball.
In the first inning, major leaguers such as Park Chan-ho, Kim Byung-hyun, Kim Seon-woo, Koo Dae-seong, Bong Joong-geun, Seo Jae-eung, Choi Hee-seop, and Lee Seung-yeop, who played in Japan, joined forces to advance to the semifinals.
In the next competition, it went up a notch higher. At that time, a game method called ‘Double Elimination’ was created with the addition of a loser’s respawn. It was a tournament format in which losing twice in a group consisting of four countries was eliminated. Because of this, Korea faced Japan five times. In the final, they met Japan, but unfortunately lost in overtime and finished runner-up.
Since then, Korea has not been able to laugh one after another at the WBC. In 2013, he was eliminated in the first round. In the next tournament, 2017, he finished the tournament in the first round. It was even more shocking because it was held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Korea. 바카라사이트
Recently, Korean baseball’s status in international competitions has declined significantly. WBC, of course, suffered a no-medal humiliation at the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021. In the KBO League that year, cases of violating the Corona 19 quarantine rules came out and the image of Korean professional baseball was greatly damaged. During the Corona 19 era, the number of spectators decreased significantly, and even a ‘crisis theory’ emerged.
In fact, the prospects for the Korean national team in this tournament are not very bright. Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the WBC national team, said at a press conference on the first day of the national team’s convocation on January 16, “Everyone says it is a crisis (of Korean baseball). I will use the crisis as an opportunity and prepare well so that I can play as many games with the players as possible with a national team filled with young and veteran players.”