Americans love to crown their teams, “World Champions”, despite only playing teams from either within the country or teams from one outside country. This was the first true “World Series” that the US won on early Thursday morning. The World Baseball Classic has not been a fan favorite in the US, simply because the US has not performed well in it. American stars grow up dreaming about winning the World Series and not the WBC, many of them fear that playing the WBC might alter their game plan to achieve their main goal so they skip the WBC, resulting in poor performance for Team USA. Despite it not being popular among American baseball fans, every one of them felt a sense of pride for their country, when Carlos Correa of Puerto Rico, grounded out to officially crown USA world champions.
The popularity has grown throughout the tournament in the US, as was evident in the crowd at Dodger Stadium for the finals. Major League Baseball considers the WBC a very important part in the development of baseball as a global sport, appreciation for the tournament from American fans has nothing but benefits for the MLB. Most needle movers in baseball that are from the US skipped the WBC, it will be interesting to see how many of the stars in 2021 choose to skip the tournament after its huge success this year. The WBC is nowhere near being on the same level as the FIFA World Cup or even the ICC Cricket World Cup, but American support fully behind the WBC can help the tournament to grow. Countries like Japan, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico consider the WBC to be a sacred tournament and put out their best players in pursuit of winning the tournament, the US has never done that, but after this year look for that to change. Mike Trout has shown interest in possibly playing in the next WBC, if more stars follow, then the WBC will become a more legit sport.
This tournament started with the emergence of the “Jew Crew” from Israel and Netherlands as a really good baseball team. Non traditional baseball nations can continue to use the WBC platform to further grow the sport within the country, achieving the goal of MLB. It will be interesting to see the TV Ratings from the finals of the WBC, as there seemed to be a more social media presence for this year’s tournament, then previous tournaments.
Watching the WBC, has gotten me even more excited for MLB season to come along, only a handful sleeps before we wake up on the most wonderful time of the year.
What do you think, will the WBC continue to grow or did it become famous just because US did really good?
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