World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic
Upcoming season or competition:
Current sports event 2026 World Baseball Classic
Inaugural season2006
No. of teams20 (finals)
Most recent
 Japan (3rd title)
Most titles Japan (3 titles)
TV partner(s)MLB International
ESPN (2006-2009)
MLB Network (2012-2017)
FOX (2023-)
FOX Sports (2023-)
FOX Deportes (2023-)
Streaming partner(s)Tubi (2023)
Official websiteworld-baseball-classic

The World Baseball Classic (abbreviated as WBC, or sometimes, The Classic[1]) is an international baseball tournament, sanctioned from 2006 to 2013 by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and after 2013 by World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) in partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) through the World Baseball Classic Inc. and the winning team is awarded the World Baseball Classic Championship Trophy[2][3]

It was proposed to the IBAF and other professional baseball leagues and their players associations around the world by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). It is one of the two main senior baseball tournaments sanctioned by the WBSC, alongside the Premier 12 but the Classic is the only one which grants to the winner the title of "World Champion".[4][5]

It previously coexisted with Olympic baseball (until 2008) and the Baseball World Cup (until 2011) as IBAF-sanctioned tournaments.[6] The final men's Baseball World Cup was held in 2011, and it was discontinued in 2013, after an MLB suggestion to reorganize the international baseball calendar; WBSC accepted the suggestion after an executive meeting, giving the "World Champion" title to the WBC winner, on the condition that the Classic should have direct qualifications and follow international anti-doping rules.[7]

It was first held in 2006 as an invitional event format in which 16 team countries were invited.

The tournament is the first of its kind to have the national teams featuring professional players from the major leagues around the world, including Major League Baseball. In addition to providing a format for the best baseball players in the world to compete against one another while representing their home countries, the World Baseball Classic was created in order to further promote the game around the globe.

After a three-year gap between the first two installments of the tournament, plans were made for the World Baseball Classic to be repeated every four years following the 2009 event. The third installment of the Classic was held in 2013, and the fourth was held in 2017.

The World Baseball Classic was held five times from 2006 to 2023, with Japan, the Dominican Republic, and the United States winning the championship. Japan, as of the 2023 tournament, are the only team to win the tournament multiple times.

  1. ^ Baseball Zen: The Classic! See the World Baseball Classic through a Baseball Zen lens
  2. ^ "Japan 2023 World Baseball Classic Championship Trophy Pano Framed LE #1". Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  3. ^ Suvanto, Lyndon. "World Baseball Classic Trophy unveiled, how does it compare to past designs?". Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  4. ^ "IBAF introduces new Format of International Tournaments". International Baseball Federation. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Japan win World Baseball Classic to add to Premier12 and Olympic titles". World Baseball Softball Confederation. "Japan never won a Baseball World Cup, thus celebrates a historic first as the Baseball World Champions.". Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  6. ^ "IBAF World Ranking Notes" (PDF). International Baseball Federation. 13 January 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Premier12 2019 Official Program - Page 6" (PDF). WBSC. WBSC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.