Friday, May 1, 2015

1957 World Baseball Cup

Under the original agreement for the tournament, the Nippon Professional League would host the 2nd tournament. After the New York tournament, they announced two stadiums in Tokyo would host the 1957 games. After the success of the first tournament, teams were assembled for the US Territory of Hawaii and the country of Panama. Since only 8 teams could qualify, the teams were grouped by continent, with one team in both North America and Latin America would have a best of 3 playoff. The host would automatically qualify for the tournament. Panama beat Canada twice in the playoffs, earning their first bid to the World Baseball Cup.

The Yomiuri Giants' stadium would host Group A, and the Tokyo Swallows stadium would host Group B. This was the first tournament that needed a tie breaker to decide who advances. The tie goes to teams with the most runs scored. The USA's first tournament loss was against Japan to open the Cup. The USA, Japan, and Dominicans all beat eachother, ending up with a 2-1 record. Roberto Clemente rinced the Group B pitching, leading his team to a perfect 3-0 record.

The Americans were able to shut down Puerto Rico to advance to a rematch against the Japanese. Whitey Ford was able to retire 20 straight batters after a solo home run in the 2nd inning, and the USA would win their 2nd straight title. Many newspapers discredited the tournament for not proving anything, and the Americans were always going to win the title. The next tournament would be held in Puerto Rico.

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