tokyo 2020 olympics

Japan beats U.S. 2-0 to win 1st Olympic baseball gold medal

47 Comments
By RONALD BLUM

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Good job and congrats Japan - gold is well deserved! Paid off for NPB league to suspended the season to make their best team for this title they covet on their home Olympics

Good job the US team for the silver too! Made up of ex-MLB players and future prospects, you've acquitted yourselves well - their only 2 losses both to Japan in tight games

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Japan summer heat is in favor Japanese team.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

   

Congratulations!!” to Japan on your Team’s Gold medal and to American Baseball on your Silver !!

Congratulations! to China for taking their sizable plunder of Tokyo’s GOLD !! 

And, …

Congratulations !! to the U.S.A. for securing ‘the MOST Olympic GOLD medals of All the countries in the Free World’ !! 

Peace to All” who love ‘Freedom’ !!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japan summer heat is in favor Japanese team.

Baseball is a summer game - I'm sure all players who took years to get to this high level have gotten used to all kinds of heat by now

Second baseman Eddy Alvarez became just the third American and sixth athlete overall to win medals at the Winter and Summer Games. He had hoped for gold but went 6 for 24 with three RBIs and matched the silver he earned as a speedskater in 2014.

Whoa, he was an Olympic silver-medalist speedskater now playing baseball?!

Ya don't see that too often, never mind medaling at both Olympics

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The guys gave it their all so I can't be disappointed too much. The World Series is much more important to American teams than a gold medal.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Baseball, like softball was added for these Olympics because of the tradition here in Japan, and not to mention the potential to win the gold medal, which the Japanese teams accomplished.

Neither will be in the 2024 games!

One can only speculate at what the results may have been if the MLB players from ALL the countries that participated, were allowed to participate. The Japanese side would have been boosted tremendously by adding Otani and others, yet the same could be said of the US and other teams as well!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Japan summer heat is in favor Japanese team.

The Southern US summers can be even more brutal than Tokyo.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Mocheake, all the clubs refuse to let their players go. They didn't even allow Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish to play for Japan. Because they know they don't earn any cash by letting their players go. The world series is where these clubs cash in their profits. The olympic brings them nothing.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Good on Japan for winning, they were the prohibited favorites and you could see they felt the pressure. A loss in the final would have been devastating. But they did win, albeit against a AAA group of no names primarily. The fact that the games were so close between this ragtag team from the USA and the All-Stars of NPB speaks to the level of play in the NPB.

Murakami is a stud, he broke open the game for Japan to win with his oppo HR. The USA had zero clutch hitting, credit for that of course is due to the Japanese pitchers.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan defeated US in their own national sport !!..

First softball and now baseball !!..

Those victories paid for everything !!..

Congratulations Samurai Japan !!..

おめでとうございます!!..

NIPPON SAYONARA !!..

GO JAPAN !!..

Thanks Japan, I love you !!..

The World Series is much more important to American teams than a gold medal.

Comparing a local championship with an Olympic title, looool !!

The good old loser's self pity, lol !!..

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

America, the nation that introduced baseball to Japan in 1872, finished 4-2. Teams were denied access to all 40-man roster players and many eligible top prospects by Major League Baseball and its clubs, hindering the U.S. and other countries whose top stars are in MLB

This gets deliberately omitted from the news. Just watched TBS Sunday Morning and pa Harimoto was saying Japanese baseball has surpassed American baseball, that the American batters couldn't hit the Japanese who were just too good, and he was surprised that the Japanese players were physically bigger than their American Counterpart.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The good old loser's self pity, lol !!..

It’s just a game and there’s always a next time. Let them have their fun for once.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan's players sprinted onto the mound and the collection of All-Stars

vs.

The released veterans, prospects and career minor leaguers

says a lot. The U.S. getting Silver was a job well done and only losing 2-0. When it comes to U.S. vs Japan matches in all sports, I root for the underdogs. As I wanted U.S. to beat Japan in baseball, I am cheering for Japan to beat U.S. in women's basketball. Sorry to be weird.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

That so much attention is given to fully professional multimillionaire Japanese team beating a minor league but still professional USA team in a fully professional sport with very limited global participation tells you all you need to know about the "Olympic spirit". Anything to get the flags waving, and the more people tuning in, commercial breaks included, the better. I bet this event wasn't scheduled with prime time US TV in mind.

I am pleased Japan won, but will pay more attention to Koshien, Ohtani, and NPB. Go Hanshin!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Man, I was so afraid Japan's gonna give the US the victory, but nope Samurai victory!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

https://wikidiff.com/eked/eeked

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Some points to ponder.

-This japanese olympic baseball team was built to win a gold medal because they had a near all-star roster on the field at nearly every position by players who play in the NPB.

-While the American team comprised solely of AAA and AA players which no one has ever heard of. ( not dissing the American players)

-NPB shut down for many weeks to prepare for this moment.

-While the American side didn't allow MLB to shut down thus not fielding a powerful, loaded stellar MLB olympic team.

The fact is, is this whole tournament was designed for japan to win a gold medal. Sorry, no. I don't say that in spite. They desperately wanted to win an olympic gold medal since they have never won one before so they put everything into place to make sure that happened.

In saying that, I am EXTREMELY proud of this American no-name olympic team because they played their hearts out against all odds and a loaded japanese roster and nearly pulled off an upset. I tip my hat to the boys. Additionally, it was a nice touch of them to put up a big American flag in their dugout. It shows that they know what it's all about.

Ultimately, japan won the gold medal because of the way this limited 6 team tournament was designed. They were virtually ensured a gold medal while the US with quite limited resources played some real good baseball to make it competitive.

Final note. I was pleased to have baseball and softball back in the olympics as I feel team sport in these games are an integral part to the olympiad.

Thank you for some spirited sports entertainment during these odd times.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I couldn't care less about baseball, but if this alone means that China wins the medal table (through golds, which is the - pardon the pun - gold standard), then Japan will have done us a colossal favour by shutting the yanks up.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

All US players were from Triple A or Double A teams.

Coach Mike Scioscia was the only true star.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, they deserved it. Well done, Japan!

On that note, baseball should NOT be an Olympic event. Most nations in the world don't even know what it is, and they had to dig up extra teams to try and make it more valid. I mean, Israel? They may as well put the caber toss back in -- and would probably have more international athletes participate to boot.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Well done, JAPAN !! Finally, a ‘plan’ was made ‘in advance’ and, IT WORKED !!

Still, wasn’t some JAPAN ‘nationalistic-pride’ supporter complaining just yesterday about the GOLD-medal winning Americans basketball team having ‘professionals’ on their roster?

- @2:24pm: “Are these guys professional Corporate basketball players? … that most of the American athletes, among others, have Corporate sponsorship but somehow the ethics of professionals competing seems not in the spirit of the thing. It just seems pathetic...” -

Seems ‘Hypocritical’ when the Team JAPAN’s ‘professional’ baseball roster was announced well in advance on Jun 16:

*- “The 24 baseball players who represent Japan at the Games were announced by mgr Atsunori Inaba of the Samurai Japan national team, all of whom belong to professional teams in Japan. ” -*

Inaba said: “Our goal is to win the gold medal. I’m proud to be able to compete at the Olympic Games with the Japanese flag on our back.  I hope that the success of the players selected for the national team will inspire people to start playing baseball.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan was abe to trump the U.S. on this occasion. Once behind, there was no way to crawl of of that sand trap. You did your best.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan's team was a star-studded NPB all-star team while the U.S. team was pretty ragtag -- minor-leaguers, a few aging ex-major leaguers, and two or three guys playing in Japan.

And even then, Japan just barely won.

But still, congrats to Japan ...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@smithinjapan, what are you smoking? Baseball is a unknown sport? A sport that have been played for more than a 100year and enjoyed word wide everywhere?

The reason why only 6 teams were allowed was because the IOC only allowed a limited total amount of players. Is because Japan try to include 5 new sport into the olympic. Which cause the overall amount of athletes to partake in the olympic to be extremely crowded already. If you have bother to check, you would know that baseball is extremely popular in Asia,Europe, North America and South America. Even Cuba is was freaking powerhouse in baseball.

If you deny baseball, you might as well deny table tennis, hockey, fencing, badmiton etc.

Usually the host nation decide which favorite sport is included. Nation that aren't a powerhouse in baseball try not to choose it, because they know they will lose a few the medals there. But so far i know US, China, Korea and Japan are crazy about baseball.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

As host, Japan automatically qualified. Israel also qualified, by winning the Africa/Europe Qualifying event in September 2019. Mexico qualified as the best team from the Americas,and South Korea qualified as the best team from Asia/Oceania. The US qualified by winning the Americas Qualifying event. The last spot was awarded to the Dominican Republic, for winning the Final Qualifying Tournament.

They didn't just scramble to get some teams together. Nations were fighting for a spot to enter for the baseball event, but only the 6 best teams in the end got a spot. Cuba a previous gold medal winner, lost in the American Qualifying event so they couldn't take part in.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hakman

And even then, Japan just barely won.

2-0 is a pretty common baseball final score. It's not "barely".

And, a shutout is always considered impressive, whether it's 2-0 or 5-0.

But, yeah, JPN fielded a team of their top level pros, while the USA sent their 2nd tier. You would think that JPN would have coughed up a more impressive win.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No country outside of Japan cares about Olympic baseball. It is an exhibition set of games for the ROW like a preseason game. Nobody shut down their profession league for the Olympics other than Japan. Most Americans do not even know the game was being played as ratings for the Olympics are very low there. Way more American will check out Otani today than the gold metal game results. He is a lot more fun to watch for sure than the entire Samurai Japan team, Murakami being the exception.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Smithinjapan

On that note, baseball should NOT be an Olympic event. Most nations in the world don't even know what it is...

Incorrect. While it doesn't enjoy the global popularity of soccer/football, it is far from "unknown" throughout the world.

Hiro

@smithinjapan, what are you smoking? Baseball is a unknown sport? A sport that have been played for more than a 100year and enjoyed word wide everywhere?

Exactly. It's popular in almost all countries in North, Central, and South America; Taiwan, Korea, and Japan in Asia; and even Australia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lot of class shows by both teams.

japan team had the edge in talent and fundamentals this time. Good job by both teams.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@smithinjapan, what are you smoking? Baseball is a unknown sport? A sport that have been played for more than a 100year and enjoyed word wide everywhere? Anyone who doesn't know what baseball is, lived under a rock. You have no idea what you are talking about.

@Hiro,

Lol, when Japan won the world baseball classic, that guy said that it means nothing since Olympic gold medal, which Korea won, is what counts. So when Japan wins the gold medal in Olympics, baseball becomes an obscure sport that no one knows about. Why are you surprised about his logic?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I grew up playing baseball, going to games, and I still follow MLB constantly. It's my favorite sport. And I'm glad to see to baseball won't be an Olympic sport anymore. It's even less competitive and relevant than the WBC.

Baseball's barely a global sport and the teams other than Japan and Korea (maybe Taiwan?) didn't represent anywhere near their countries' top players.

Japan puts its pro season on hold and stocked its team with almost all its best national players. I think Korea did, too (and still lost).

The U.S. fielded a team of minor league kids and journeymen and were basically equal to the Japanese all-stars who get paid millions, were in mid-season form, and were on home soil.

The U.S. bunch only lost the first Japan game on a blown lead in extra innings, and then got barely edged out in this game.

Get rid of golf and tennis while we're at it. The Olympics are one-off tournaments played by millionaires.

Softball, however, has a place. For the women, it's their biggest forum. They send out their best players and they're not millionaires. They play on a tweaked baseball field. They live for this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru:

Baseball, like softball was added for these Olympics because of the tradition here in Japan, and not to mention the potential to win the gold medal, which the Japanese teams accomplished.

Neither will be in the 2024 games!

But it will be back again in the 2028 games in LA.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hiro: "@smithinjapan, what are you smoking? Baseball is a unknown sport? A sport that have been played for more than a 100year and enjoyed word wide everywhere? "

No, Hiro. Cricket is played in FAR more nations than baseball, at least professionally. It is still an unknown sport in much of the world, yes.

"The reason why only 6 teams were allowed was because the IOC only allowed a limited total amount of players."

Wrong. It's because there are not enough nations that play it and have professional teams. It is already clearly just a medal grab by Japan (successful one this time), much like if Canada brought in log-rolling and called it international, or Wales brought in Bog Snorkeling, or Russia face-slapping. But I'm speaking to a Japanese, I know, so what you consider to be famous and known well all over the world is about as applicable as the expression "mottanai" which I've never heard used outside of Japan (outside of the Nobel Prize winner), and have never, ever been asked about. It is popular in a few key nations, and that is all, and that is why it should not be included in the Olympics. It already has the WBC and about three other major tournaments, and keeps making more in an effort to try and stay relevant, and I think that's more than enough.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@EBP Spot on! I applaud the success of the Japanese skateboarders, rock climbers, and surfers. This Japanese baseball team was the best of Japan's pros. The American team... I struggled to recognize any of them. In fact, much of the American team members were too skinny (i.e., not juiced up enough) to be on a typical Major League team.

If the Japanese women's basketball team takes out the Americans, then I'll be mightily impressed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@smithinjapan. Pretty Euro-centric of you to say 'Most nations in the world don't even know what it is, and they had to dig up extra teams to try and make it more valid.'

Here's a list of countries that care about baseball:

Japan, America, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Taiwan, South Korea, Haiti, Australia, Philippines.

How many countries are interested in Kata karate? How many have even heard of it? Yet, it was an Olympic Sport, as was rock climbing and...next up break dancing (yes, you read that correctly).

I think baseball has earned its way to the Olympics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hiro: "But so far i know US, China, Korea and Japan are crazy about baseball."

Wow... three nations out of your "world-wide". Might as well say AKB are world-renowned because they are copied in Taiwan. I'll even point out a few more that are crazy about baseball (or at least, proficient enough): Cuba and a few Latin American nations (where the US gets a lot of their pitchers from), Canada, Taiwan, and even Australia has a growing following -- though again, far from cricket.

But you are right -- Japan chose it and it was limited to six teams because that guarantees a medal to literally half the participants, and that was part of my point. It wasn't about celebrating the sport -- it was about getting a medal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Congrats Japan, well played and finally a baseball Olympic gold medal.

Funny at posters "not dissing" the USA composed of AAA or has beens MLB players as if the gold medal is a sure thing if they sent their best.

If MLB teams truly lets the best players to play for their countries in the Olympics, what makes you sure that US will not be beaten by other countries? Just look at the leading MLB MVP this season (Ohtani, Vlad Jr and Tatis Jr) who are not Americans.

What ifs doesn't win you gold medals as the other side has their own what ifs too.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hurray for Japan! The Best Baseball team in the world. Now there are two sports Japan will win next time for sure. Guarantee. 100%. Basketball Olympic (Women) in 2024 and World Cup (Men) in 2022 or in 2030.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This article makes me smile. Congratulations to the better team!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some points to ponder.

Randy Johnson

Your rather lengthy review is quite convincing. I hear you, I feel for you. It’s just a game, however designed, designed to make clear the better side at the time. Everyone is also prepared to hear any excuses made by the losing side to justify its unbearable loss. Japanese media is trying to figure out the recent loss to Mexico in the bronze medal soccer game. The best part is, there is always a next time for revenge. ドンマイ!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tristis Quepe

I couldn't care less about baseball, but if this alone means that China wins the medal table (through golds, which is the - pardon the pun - gold standard), then Japan will have done us a colossal favour by shutting the yanks up

It didn't quite work out that way, though, did it.

China got the silver in the gold medal contest.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It didn’t @garypen. As of 3pm JST, Sun, Aug 8, 2021, 

- Team U.S.A. now dominates ALL medal rankings !!

AND also, the total number of medals by one country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games !!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Interesting that the baseball team is made up of retirees, minor league and college players, while the basketball team is comprised of NBA players. What are the rules?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**Tristis quepe says...**

I couldn't care less about baseball, but if this alone means that China wins the medal table (through golds, which is the - pardon the pun - gold standard), then Japan will have done us a colossal favour by shutting the yanks up.

This must sting since the USA got 39 gold medals and china got 38.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

expat

Interesting that the baseball team is made up of retirees, minor league and college players, while the basketball team is comprised of NBA players. What are the rules?

The rules allow professional players in all sports at the Olympics since 1986. Before that, they were required to be amateur. But, because of the unfair advantage it gave to the USSR team athletes, who were for all practical purposes professional athletes, the rules were changed in 1986 to even the playing field. (both literally and figuratively)

The reason we didn't see professional MLB-level players on the US Baseball team is because the MLB teams' ownership would not grant them the time off to practice and compete this year. It was a dick move on the MLB ownership's part, especially the teams who aren't in contention for MLB championship games.

There are at least 11 out of 30 MLB teams that are clearly out of contention, and a few more that are arguably out of it. Those out-of-contention teams could've let their better players compete. But, MLB team owners have a long history of being total dicks going back 100 years or more. And, they obviously didn't want to break with tradition.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How many countries are interested in Kata karate? How many have even heard of it? Yet, it was an Olympic Sport, as was rock climbing and...next up break dancing (yes, you read that correctly).

Russia and former east-bloc states have a fairly competitive Kata-Karate pool, as do several central Asian and Mideast nations.

Pistol dueling with wax bullets used to be an Olympic sport, as was coarse fishing. Olympic sports change with the times and host-nation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This must sting since the USA got 39 gold medals and china got 38.

Randy Johnson

Oh yes, while any boasting of a mere “1” difference by the side which used to be much more dominant once upon a time is telling of the underlying fear, not simply towards the gradual shift which awaits us in future olympics to come, but more towards what this symbolizes in terms of the overall shift of power

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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