2009 World Baseball Classic

The 2009 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was an international baseball competition. It began on March 5 and finished March 23.

2009 World Baseball Classic
2009 World Baseball Classic logo.gif
Tournament details
Host countriesCanada
Puerto Rico
United States
DatesMarch 5–23, 2009
Final positions
Champions Japan (2nd title)
Runners-up South Korea
Third place Venezuela
Fourth place United States
Tournament statistics
Games played39
Attendance801,408 (20,549 per game)
Most valuable playerJapan Daisuke Matsuzaka
Jumbotron ad for the 2009 WBC at Rogers Centre

Unlike in 2006, when the round-robin format of the first two rounds led to some eliminations being decided by run-difference tiebreakers, the first two rounds of the 2009 edition were modified double-elimination format. The modification was that the final game of each bracket was winner-take-all, even if won by the team emerging from the loser's bracket, although that game only affected seeding, as two teams always advanced from each bracket.

The biggest surprise in the first round was the Netherlands, which twice defeated the Dominican Republic in Pool D to advance. The second round saw the two Pool A teams (South Korea and Japan) defeat the two Pool B teams (Cuba and Mexico) while the two Pool C teams (Venezuela and the United States) defeated the two Pool D teams (Puerto Rico and the Netherlands). South Korea and Japan then advanced to the final game, playing each other for the fifth time in the tournament (split 2–2 up to that time), and Japan emerged victorious for the second straight Classic, winning the final game 5–3 in 10 innings.

For the second straight Classic, Daisuke Matsuzaka was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.


As was the case for the 2006 tournament, the sixteen teams were split into four pools of four teams each.[1] Whereas previously the teams played in round-robin competition in the first two rounds, this time they took part in a double-elimination format, similar to the U.S. College World Series sponsored by the NCAA. Under the new format, teams were only guaranteed to play two games. This change was made to eliminate the complicated tiebreaking procedures,[2] which were required for one of the pools in each of the first two rounds in 2006.

After the first round, the tournament was held in the U.S. The top two teams from each of the four pools—seeded from the final game in their respective pools—went to the second round, with the teams from Pools A and B meeting at Petco Park in San Diego for Pool 1, and the teams in Pools C and D playing at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens for Pool 2.[3] Again, both pools made use of double-elimination to determine the teams qualifying for the semifinals. In another change from 2006, the four qualifying teams crossed over for the semifinals, with the winner of each pool playing against the runner-up from the other pool.[2] The championship round process was otherwise unchanged, with each semifinal being a single elimination match, the victors meeting in the final to determine the tournament champion. All three championship round games were held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.[3]

In the final, the team with the higher winning percentage of games in the tournament were to be the home team. If the teams competing in the final had identical winning percentages in the tournament, then World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) would conduct a coin flip or draw to determine the home team.


Each participating national federation had a deadline of January 19, 2009 to submit a 45-man provisional roster. Final rosters of 28 players, which was required to include a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, were submitted on February 24. If a player on the submitted roster was unable to play, usually due to injury, he could be substituted at any time before the start of the tournament. While rosters could not be changed during a round of competition, a team that advanced to a later round could change its roster for the later round.


Seven stadiums were used during the tournament:

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
  Tokyo, Japan   Mexico City, Mexico   Toronto, Canada   San Juan, Puerto Rico
Tokyo Dome Foro Sol Rogers Centre Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Capacity: 42,000 Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 49,539 Capacity: 18,264
Pool 1 Pool 2 Championship
  San Diego, United States   Miami Gardens, United States   Los Angeles, United States
Petco Park Dolphin Stadium Dodger Stadium
Capacity: 42,685 Capacity: 38,560 Capacity: 56,000

Pools compositionEdit

The 16 teams that participated in the 2006 World Baseball Classic were all invited back for the 2009 tournament. The World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) changed the members of each pool as compared with the 2006 Classic, however, except for Pool A. There was no official qualifying competition.

Note: Numbers in parentheses indicate positions in the IBAF World Rankings at the time of the tournament.[4][5]

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
  China (14)   Australia (10)   Canada (7)   Dominican Republic (17)
  Chinese Taipei (5)   Cuba (1)   Italy (13)   Netherlands (6)
  Japan (4)   Mexico (8)   United States (2)   Panama (9)
  South Korea (3)   South Africa (20)   Venezuela (15)   Puerto Rico (11)

First roundEdit

Pool AEdit

W1  Japan14
W2  South Korea2
  Chinese Taipei0
  South Korea9
W4  Japan0
W5  South Korea1
Lower round 1Lower final
W3  China0
L1  China4L4  South Korea14
L2  Chinese Taipei1
Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 5, 2009 18:30 China   0–4   Japan   Tokyo Dome 2:55 43,428 Boxscore
Mar 6, 2009 18:30 Chinese Taipei   0–9   South Korea   Tokyo Dome 2:48 12,704 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 12:30 Chinese Taipei   1–4   China   Tokyo Dome 2:51 12,890 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 19:00 Japan   14–2   South Korea 7 Tokyo Dome 2:48 45,640 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 18:30 China   0–14   South Korea 7 Tokyo Dome 2:13 12,571 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 18:30 South Korea   1–0   Japan   Tokyo Dome 3:02 42,879 Boxscore

Pool BEdit

  South Africa1
W1  Cuba5
W2  Australia4
W4  Cuba16
W5  Mexico4
Lower round 1Lower final
W3  Mexico16
L1  South Africa3L4  Australia1
L2  Mexico14
Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 12:00 South Africa   1–8   Cuba   Foro Sol 2:37 11,270 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 19:00 Australia   17–7   Mexico 8 Foro Sol 3:43 20,821 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 20:00 Mexico   14–3   South Africa   Foro Sol 3:33 10,311 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2009 20:00 Cuba   5–4   Australia   Foro Sol 3:29 13,396 Boxscore
Mar 11, 2009 20:00 Mexico   16–1   Australia 6 Foro Sol 2:31 16,718 Boxscore
Mar 12, 2009 19:00 Mexico   4–16   Cuba 7 Foro Sol 3:33 20,149 Boxscore

Pool CEdit

  United States6
W1  United States15
W2  Venezuela6
W3  United States3
W5  Venezuela5
Lower round 1Lower final
W4  Italy1
L1  Canada2L3  Venezuela10
L2  Italy6
Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 14:00 Canada   5–6   United States   Rogers Centre 2:55 42,314 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 20:00 Italy   0–7   Venezuela   Rogers Centre 3:00 13,272 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 20:00 United States   15–6   Venezuela   Rogers Centre 3:39 13,094 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 18:30 Italy   6–2   Canada   Rogers Centre 3:36 12,411 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2009 17:00 Italy   1–10   Venezuela   Rogers Centre 3:04 10,450 Boxscore
Mar 11, 2009 18:30 Venezuela   5–3   United States   Rogers Centre 3:08 12,358 Boxscore

Pool DEdit

  Dominican Rep.2
W1  Netherlands1
W2  Puerto Rico3
  Puerto Rico7
W4  Puerto Rico5
W5  Netherlands0
Lower round 1Lower final
W3  Dominican Rep.1
L1  Dominican Rep.9L4  Netherlands2
L2  Panama0
Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 12:00 Netherlands   3–2   Dominican Republic   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:01 9,335 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 18:00 Panama   0–7   Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:57 17,348 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 16:30 Panama   0–9   Dominican Republic   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:46 9,221 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 18:30 Netherlands   1–3   Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:11 19,479 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2009 18:30 Dominican Republic   1–2   Netherlands 11 Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:38 11,814 Boxscore
Mar 11, 2009 17:30 Netherlands   0–5   Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:55 19,501 Boxscore

Second roundEdit

Pool 1Edit

AR  Japan6
BW  Cuba0
W1  Japan1
W2  South Korea4
BR  Mexico2
AW  South Korea8
W4  South Korea2
W5  Japan6
Lower round 1Lower final
W3  Cuba0
L1  Cuba7L4  Japan5
L2  Mexico4
Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 15, 2009 13:00 Japan   6–0   Cuba   Petco Park 3:33 20,179 Boxscore
Mar 15, 2009 20:00 Mexico   2–8   South Korea   Petco Park 3:43 22,337 Boxscore
Mar 16, 2009 20:00 Cuba   7–4   Mexico   Petco Park 3:09 9,329 Boxscore
Mar 17, 2009 20:00 Japan   1–4   South Korea   Petco Park 3:21 15,332 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2009 20:00 Japan   5–0   Cuba   Petco Park 3:26 9,774 Boxscore
Mar 19, 2009 18:00 Japan   6–2   South Korea   Petco Park 3:42 14,832 Boxscore

Pool 2Edit

DR  Netherlands1
CW  Venezuela3
W1  Venezuela2
W2  Puerto Rico0
CR  United States1
DW  Puerto Rico11
W4  Venezuela10
W5  United States6
Lower round 1Lower final
W3  United States6
L1  Netherlands3L4  Puerto Rico5
L2  United States9
Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 14, 2009 13:00 Netherlands   1–3   Venezuela   Dolphin Stadium 2:22 17,345 Boxscore
Mar 14, 2009 20:00 United States   1–11   Puerto Rico 7 Dolphin Stadium 2:15 30,595 Boxscore
Mar 15, 2009 19:30 Netherlands   3–9   United States   Dolphin Stadium 3:14 11,059 Boxscore
Mar 16, 2009 20:00 Venezuela   2–0   Puerto Rico   Dolphin Stadium 3:23 25,599 Boxscore
Mar 17, 2009 19:00 Puerto Rico   5–6   United States   Dolphin Stadium 3:54 13,224 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2009 19:00 United States   6–10   Venezuela   Dolphin Stadium 3:32 16,575 Boxscore

Championship roundEdit

Semifinals Final
1R   South Korea 10
2W   Venezuela 2
SF1W   South Korea 3
SF2W   Japan 5
2R   United States 4
1W   Japan 9


Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 21, 2009 18:00 South Korea   10–2   Venezuela   Dodger Stadium 3:22 43,378 Boxscore
Mar 22, 2009 17:00 United States   4–9   Japan   Dodger Stadium 3:15 43,630 Boxscore


Date Local time Road team Score Home team Inn. Venue Game duration Attendance Boxscore
Mar 23, 2009 18:00 Japan   5–3   South Korea 10 Dodger Stadium 4:00 54,846 Boxscore

Final standingsEdit

Organizer WBCI has no interest in the final standings and did not compute. So, it was calculated by IBAF for the IBAF Men's Baseball World Rankings.

In the final standings, ties were to be broken in the following order of priority:

  1. The team allowing the fewest runs per nine innings (RA/9) in all games;
  2. The team allowing the fewest earned runs per nine innings (ERA) in all games;
  3. The team with the highest batting average (AVG) in all games;


801,408 (avg. 20,549; pct. 54.5%)

First roundEdit

453,374 (avg. 18,891; pct. 55.6%)

  • Pool A – 170,112 (avg. 28,352; pct. 67.5%)
  • Pool B – 92,665 (avg. 15,444; pct. 59.4%)
  • Pool C – 103,899 (avg. 17,317; pct. 35.0%)
  • Pool D – 86,698 (avg. 14,450; pct. 79.1%)

Second roundEdit

206,180 (avg. 17,182; pct. 42.3%)

  • Pool 1 – 91,783 (avg. 15,297; pct. 35.8%)
  • Pool 2 – 114,397 (avg. 19,066; pct. 49.4%)

Championship roundEdit

141,854 (avg. 47,285; pct. 84.4%)

  • Semifinals – 87,008 (avg. 43,504; pct. 77.7%)
  • Final – 54,846 (avg. 54,846; pct. 97.9%)

2009 All-World Baseball Classic teamEdit

Players named to the All-WBC Team (from left to right);
Catcher – Iván Rodríguez of Puerto Rico
Shortstop – Jimmy Rollins of the United States
Outfielder – Yoenis Céspedes of Cuba
Pitcher – Hisashi Iwakuma of Japan
Note: The tournament Most Valuable Player was Daisuke Matsuzaka.[6]
Position Player
C   Iván Rodríguez
1B   Tae-kyun Kim
2B   José López
3B   Bum-ho Lee
SS   Jimmy Rollins
OF   Norichika Aoki
  Frederich Cepeda
  Yoenis Céspedes
DH   Hyun-soo Kim
P   Jung-keun Bong
  Hisashi Iwakuma
  Daisuke Matsuzaka

Statistics leadersEdit

Additional rulesEdit

As was the case for the 2006 Classic, several rules were announced for the 2009 tournament that modified the existing rules for international baseball set out by the IBAF.[7][8]

Once again there were limits on the number of pitches thrown in a game, though the limits themselves were changed from the previous tournament:

  • 70 pitches in First Round (up from 65 in 2006)
  • 85 pitches in Second Round (up from 80 in 2006)
  • 100 pitches in Championship Round (up from 95 in 2006)

If a pitcher reached his limit during an at bat, he was allowed to finish pitching to the batter, but was removed from the game at the end of the at bat.

A 30–pitch outing needed to be followed by one day off, and a 50–pitch outing by four days off. No one would be allowed to pitch on three consecutive days. As the championship round was played over three consecutive days, a so-called "pitcher rest equalization" rule was added: a pitcher making 30 or more pitches in a semifinal was ineligible to pitch in the final. This negated an advantage the winners of the first semifinal would have had in the final.

A mercy rule came into effect when one team led by either fifteen runs after five innings, or ten runs after seven innings in the first two rounds.

Instant replay was also available to umpires during the tournament. As was introduced in Major League Baseball during the 2008 season, replays were only used to adjudicate on home run decisions, to determine whether the ball was fair or foul, over the fence or not, and the impact of fan interference.

An alternative version of the IBAF's extra inning rule was also introduced. If after 12 innings the score was still tied, each half inning thereafter would have started with runners on second and first base. The runners would have been the eighth and ninth hitters due in that inning respectively. For example, if the number five hitter was due to lead off the inning, the number three hitter would have been on second base, and the number four hitter on first base. However, this rule was never actually employed in this year's Classic, as the two extra-inning games in the tournament ended prior to a 13th inning.

All base coaches were required to wear protective helmets, in the aftermath of the death of Mike Coolbaugh and participating teams were required to announce the next day's starting pitcher. Additionally, a modified early termination rule was in effect for the first two rounds; had a team been ahead by 15 or more runs after five innings or ten or more runs after seven or eight innings, the game ended at that point.

Prize moneyEdit

USD 14,000,000

By final standingsEdit

  • Champions – USD 2,700,000
  • Runners-up – USD 1,700,000
  • Semifinalists – USD 1,200,000 (x 2 teams)
  • Eliminated in Second Round – USD 700,000 (x 4 teams)
  • Eliminated in First Round – USD 300,000 (x 8 teams)

Bonus for pool winnersEdit

  • First Round – USD 300,000 (x 4 teams)
  • Second Round – USD 400,000 (x 2 teams)

Media coverageEdit

In the United States, ESPN and the MLB Network shared the rights, with ESPN broadcasting 23 of the games, including the Finals, while MLB Network showed the remaining 16.[9] Spanish language telecasts in the U.S. were handled by ESPN Deportes telecasting all games. Internationally, it was broadcast to 167 countries by ESPN International.

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet aired all 39 games.[10]

In the Dominican Republic, CDN (Cadena de Noticias) and CDN2 broadcast all games live (except for games played in Tokyo, shown on tape delay)[citation needed]

In Japan, J Sports broadcast all 39 games. TV Asahi (Round 1) and TBS (Round 2 and Finals) broadcast all games featuring Japan. For all games featuring Japan, they gained viewing ratings of at least 20%. The final game gained ratings in the range 30-45%.[11]

Video gamesEdit

World Baseball Classic 2009 has licensed three video games, all only released in Japan: Pro Yakyuu Spirits 6,[12] Baseball Heroes 2009[13] and Jikkyou Pawafuru Major League 2009[14]


  1. ^ "WBC 2009 Brackets". Major League Baseball. 2008-07-31. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  2. ^ a b "Classic changes advancement rules". Major League Baseball. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  3. ^ a b "Dodger Stadium to host Classic finals". Major League Baseball. 2008-07-31. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  4. ^ "Inaugural IBAF World Ranking Released". MyGameday. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  5. ^ "14 European Teams listed in IBAF World Ranking". Mister Baseball. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  6. ^ See: 2009 World Baseball Classic – Championship § Final – Japan 5, South Korea 3.
  7. ^ "Several rules changes adopted for 2009 World Baseball Classic" (Press release). Major League Baseball. 29 January 2009. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  8. ^ Miller, Doug; MLB.com (30 January 2009). "Rules changes approved for Classic". WorldBaseballClassic.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  9. ^ Ibarra, Sergio (2008-10-07). "ESPN, MLB Net Map Plans for World Baseball Classic". TelevisionWeek. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  10. ^ "Notebook: Happy fans would pay Junior well". Toronto Star. 2009-02-25. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  11. ^ "WBC決勝戦視聴率、36.4%【WBC】" (in Japanese). Jiji Press. 2009-03-25. Archived from the original on 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
  12. ^ "Pro Yakyuu Spirits 6". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  13. ^ "Baseball Heroes 2009". Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Jikkyou Pawafuru Major League 2009". Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2010.

External linksEdit