JAPAN has just imposed its might as the baseball powerhouse in the world.
Shohei Ohtani and the rest of the Samurai Warriors delivered a nail-biting thriller against the USA to reclaim the championship in the World Baseball Classic.
Japan is the only country to have won the WBC thrice while the US has only managed to win the international competition once.
Looking back, wasn’t baseball always America’s pastime?
But how come they are just number three in the world rankings with Taipei at number two.
Browsing the current world rankings, just below the US is Korea while Mexico is fifth.
No other Asian country sits in the top ten aside from the three with China at far 30th.
The Philippines, a former colony of the US, is currently 40th out of 81 countries while Indonesia, our neighbor in Southeast Asia, is at 72.
Had the Philippines favored baseball over basketball, we could easily be in the top 10.
In the local scene, there is a call to revive the interest of baseball among the youth as it can bring back the glory days of Baguio, and the Cordillera as the region hopes to regain its spot as one of the best baseballers in the country.
In the not-so-distant past, the University of the Cordilleras was considered a powerhouse after battling its way to the championship and bringing home the gold medal in the 2019 edition of the Private Schools Athletic Association National Games held in Davao.
The UC Jaguars, coached by Rafael Lapena, out-batted Region 5, 2-1 in the finale to be crowned the country’s best collegiate baseball team in the land.
In 2013, UC Jaguars first made history after conquering the women’s softball competition, edging Western Visayas’ Central Philippine University in a thrilling 4-3 victory in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Lapena, who is still coaching, recently said they are planning to hold local tournaments this summer again after nearly three years.
Among the things being discussed is the holding of an exhibition match between Baguio’s little leaguers and a team from South Korea as part of its immersion program in the city.
Lapena added that aside from the exhibition match, coaches from Baguio and Korea will also share their techniques and best practices to help the athletes improve their skills.