The Cuba national baseball team represents Cuba at regional and international levels. The team is made up from the most professional players from the Cuban national baseball system. Cuba has been described as a baseball powerhouse and currently ranks 7th in WBSC's world rankings. It has medalled in all five Olympics in which baseball was played. Cuba played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The team tried but failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympics at the eight-team Americas Qualifying Event on May 31 through June 5, 2021.
|Cuba national baseball team|
|Federation||Baseball Federation of Cuba|
|Confederation||Pan American Baseball Confederation|
|WBSC ranking||9 2 (31 December 2021)|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Appearances||4 (First in 2006)|
|Best result||2nd (1 time, in 2006)|
|Appearances||5 (First in 1992)|
|Best result||1st (3 times, most recent in 2004)|
|Appearances||35 (First in 1939)|
|Best result||1st (25 times, most recent in 2005)|
|Appearances||13 (First in 1979)|
|Best result||1st (10 times, most recent in 2006)|
|Pan American Games|
|Appearances||16 (First in 1951)|
|Best result||1st (12 times, most recent in 2007)|
|Cuba roster - 2020 Summer Olympics Qualifier|
World Baseball Classic, Olympics, and IBAF World Cup historyEdit
Cuba competed in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament, despite the controversy of Cuban involvement and the United States embargo against Cuba. In the final, Cuba lost the gold medal to Japan, 10–6.
This was the second time Cuba competed at the 2009 WBC Pool B stage, at Foro Sol in Mexico City. Cuba continued to advance to the second round with wins over South Africa and Australia. Cuba lost to Japan twice in the 2nd round, and were eliminated.
They last were eliminated before the start of the final stage of any international tournament in 1951.
This was the third time Cuba competed at the 2013 WBC Pool A stage, in the Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka, Japan. Cuba advanced in the tournament against: China, Japan, and newcomers Brazil. Cuba moved on to the second round in Pool 1 to defeat the Netherlands, losing 6–2. Cuba defeated Chinese Taipei, 14–0. They played a face off game with previous competitors, the Netherlands, and lost 7–6. Just as in 2009, Cuba was eliminated in the path to competing in the finals.
At the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Cuban hitters Frederich Cepeda and Alfredo Despaigne had the distinction in WBC history to be the only players that each hit six home runs in their careers in the WBC.
Cuba advanced into the second round, where it lost its first game to undefeated Pool A winner Team Israel. Former Major League starting pitcher Jason Marquis (in 5.2 innings) and three Team Israel relief pitchers (including Brad Goldberg and Josh Zeid, who both threw 96 mph fastballs) kept Cuba to five hits and one run, a homer by Despaigne, who became the all-time World Baseball Classic home run leader. Pool A MVP catcher Ryan Lavarnway had two hits for Israel. Cuba went on to lose all 3 games they played and failed to advance to the championship round.
Cuba has been the most successful Cuba national team at the Olympics bringing home three gold medals and two silver medals. They have the distinction of being one of two nations to compete in the first five baseball contests at the Summer Olympic Games since it has been an event that started at the [[Olympic.
IBAF World CupEdit
2009 IBAF World CupEdit
Cuba was originally slated to host the 2009 Baseball World Cup, however, they willingly gave up the honor to Europe. In an effort to help baseball grow as a sport in Europe, the Baseball World Cup was hosted by a whole continent for the first time in history. The 2009 Baseball World Cup took place from September 9–27. Seven European countries hosted and participated in the tournament of 22 teams. The event was made up of five groups consisting of four teams each, for a total of 20 teams. Italy (Bollate, Bologna, Codogno, Florence, Macerata, Milano, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, San Marino, Torino, Trieste, Verona & Vicenza) and Netherlands (Rotterdam, Haarlem & Amsterdam) served as hosts of the sixteen teams of the second round (September 14–20), and therefore received first round byes. The groups are as follows:
- Group A (hosted by the Czech Republic in Prague): Czech Republic, Australia, Chinese Taipei & Mexico
- Group B (hosted by Spain in Barcelona): Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico & South Africa
- Group C (hosted by Sweden in Stockholm): Sweden, Canada, Korea & Netherlands Antilles
- Group D (hosted by Russia in Moscow): Russia, France/Great Britain, Japan & Nicaragua
- Group E (hosted by Germany in Regensburg): Germany, China, U.S.A. & Venezuela
International tournament resultsEdit
World Baseball ClassicEdit
World Baseball Classic
|Puerto Rico / United States 2006||2nd|
|Mexico / United States 2009||6th|
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||Final||2nd||5||3||44||43||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Round 2||6th||4||2||36||24||No qualifiers held|
|2013||Round 2||5th||4||2||45||18||Automatically qualified|
|2017||Round 2||7th||2||4||23||40||Automatically qualified|
Baseball World CupEdit
- Gold: 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1961, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005
- Silver: 1941, 2007, 2009, 2011
- Bronze: 1944, 1951
Pan American GamesEdit
- Gold: 1951, 1963, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007
- Silver: 1967
- Bronze: 2011, 2015
Central American & Caribbean GamesEdit
- "The WBSC World Ranking". WBSC. 31 December 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
- "Baseball World Cup big news in Cuba, no matter the outcome". CNN. 2009-09-28.
- "World Baseball Classic: Israel continues to shock the world, beats Cuba 4-1," Haaretz.
- "Blue-and-white takes on Cuba in Tokyo," The Jerusalem Post.
- Cuba Qualifies for Second Round in WBC | Escambray
- Cuba tops Australia, reaches second round of World Baseball Classic
- "Despaigne's grand slam sends Cuba to second round of WBC," The Japan Times.
- "World Baseball Classic roundup: Dominican Republic cruises" | SI.com
- Cuba vs. Israel Wrapup | 03/11/17 | World Baseball Classic
- "Israel beats Cuba to stay unbeaten in WBC '17". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Jason Marquis on dominant run in WBC '17". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Josh Zeid leading Israel's strong bullpen". Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Cuba fails to qualify for Olympic baseball for first time". OlympicTalk. NBC Sports. June 2, 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
- "IBAF announces groups for first round of 2009 Baseball World Cup" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- "IBAF World Cup 2009 in Europe". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
Media related to Cuba national baseball team at Wikimedia Commons