Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1953 World Baseball Cup

The opening ceremonies were held, and Taylor drew the 2 groups. Group A would play at Yankee Stadium. The 4 teams in this group were the host US team, Cuba, Venezuela, and Canada. The 4 teams in Group B playing at the Polo Grounds were Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. There would be 2 games a day, in a double header format. The groups would go on different days, so fans could make it to every game. At the ceremonies, some rules were cleared up, such as a coin toss determining the home team for games not including the host (who would be all-time home). The best 2 records would determine who advances to the playoff round. The tie breaker would be head to head, and then run differential.

The WBC's first game was played between the US and Canada at Yankee Stadiu on a cold New York Day. The US went out and absolutely dominated their group. It was bound to happen with players like Warren Spahm, Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio. The other teams were made up of a handfull of Major League players. Japan's roster was made up entirely of NPL players, considered the 2nd best baseball league in the world, and it showed. Japan went out and won their 3 first round games. But the Japanese fans weren't completely sold on the team, due to each one being a squeeker 1 run victory. A player on the Puerto Rican team did turn some heads by Major League scouts. That player was a young 18 year old named Roberto Clemente. Clemente was a big part of the reason Puerto Rico was able to advance to the next round.

In the elimination round, both games were very close, and it came down to the pitchers. The Puerto Ricans held the US to 3 runs, the least they scored so far, but could only score 2. Meanwhile, the Japanese batters couldn't bail out the pitching one last time in a 6-4 loss to Cuba. That set up the final at Yankee Stadium. The Cubans took the US to extra innings in a tight 1-1 battle. Mickey Mantle doubled off the wall in the 11th inning, scoring the runner from 1st, and winning the tournament for the US. This was a great moment, due to Mantle doing it in his home ballpark.

The first World Baseball Cup had its pluses and negatives. The crowds were pretty decent, and a fan base was established. Baseball was on display for the world, and it showed how good the US was compared to other counties. That was a negative, however. Many reporters said the US could’ve played better if the competition was better. The traveling fans commented that the host was too cold. Taylor commented that the stadiums deemed big enough to host games in the US were all in the North. He assured that this wouldn’t be a problem in the future because of the rotating hosts. In an interview after the WBC, Taylor leaked that the 1957 competition would be held in Tokyo.

Simple C logo with a maple leaf in the center. The uniform is simple red piping running down the sleeve.

I made a Cuba cursive script on the chest, with the C acting as the cap logo. The uniforms had double piping all over.

Dominican Republic
I used the current Dominican cap logo because it’s exactly what I wanted. I only put a translated Dominicana script since the full name is so long.

I put the Nippon on the jersey instead of Japan, and worked from there. That’s probably the biggest thing. The cap logo is an N with the sun from the flag in the middle.

The Mexican set are completely clean with no piping. I wanted to emphasize the green since it was unique to the country. The script is a cursive Mexico with the cap logo being the M.

Puerto Rico
I wanted to make these ones stand out from the other red/blue teams. The sleeves are red, which is the biggest difference. The cap is an interlocking PR in blue, which is similar to the Indians’ current red cap.

I went traditional with these. An Interlocking US logo on the chest and cap. Navy is the main color in these, making the US stand out.

I went with a simple V logo with the stars from the flag over top. I made Venezuela be the only team with pinstripes, which looked good with maroon. The script is a simple cursive script with the stars over top.

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