The 2000 Olympic gold medalists and 2017 World Baseball Classic champions have officially qualified for the 2021 Toyko Olympics after going undefeated in the Americas qualifying event.
Team USA, sporting a roster with a mix of former big leaguers and current minor leaguers, defeated Venezuela 4-2 on Saturday to punch their ticket to Tokyo. The team is managed by former Angels skipper Mike Soscia, and the roster features some prominent names like David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Matt Wieters, and Jon Jay.
The team also consists of some up-and-comers like Cardinals top prospect Matthew Liberatore, Red Sox #1 and #3 prospects Triston Casas and Jarren Duran, and Athletics #3 prospect Nick Allen.
Soscia referred to the team’s veteran third baseman Frazier as the “keystone” of the team after he delivered a 4-4 performance with a home run, RBI double, and two singles in the championship game.
Former Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones has expressed interest in joining Team USA in Toyko, but couldn’t participate in the qualifying round as he is finishing out his professional season for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan.
Jones left MLB after the 2019 season, which he spent with the Diamondbacks, to sign a 2 year $4 million deal with the Buffaloes, and won’t have to go far if he is to join team USA in his new home country.
Jones was a leader for the 2017 World Baseball Classic team and played a massive role in Team USA’s tournament victory. His most notable contribution was his home run robbery of then Orioles teammate Manny Machado in the semi-final matchup, which in my opinion is the greatest catch of all time.
Baseball is making its return to the Olympics after a 13-year hiatus. The program was dropped after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which Team USA secured bronze behind Cuba and the gold medalist South Korean team.
The Olympic baseball schedule is set to take place July 28-August 7, 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the games back a year. The games will feature 6 teams with a round-robin style opening round and a modified double-elimination bracket.
Will you be cheering on Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics? Let me know in the comments; I know I will be.
God bless you all, God bless baseball, God bless Team USA, and God bless the United States of America. #ForGlory