Baseball is a team sport in which players hit a ball with bats. It is played by teams of up to nine players. In addition to its complexity in technical rules, rapid changes in situations, and high demands for team collaboration, it has earned the reputation of being the sport “closest to business warfare” by business elites. Internationally, baseball is played widely and has a significant impact. Baseball is particularly popular in the United States and Japan, where it is known as the “national sport.” There are also many baseball leagues and events worldwide, such as Little League Baseball and World Baseball Classic. Now let’s take a look at some famous baseball events.

A renowned sport across the globe, baseball is played professionally in various countries. Countries like the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Puerto Rico, Canada, Italy, Australia, and China have professional or semi-professional baseball leagues.

Major League Baseball (MLB) – United States

In North America, Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball. The league was founded in 1903 and consists of 30 teams, 29 American and one Canadian. In the regular season, each team plays 162 games. The champions of each division in both leagues (American League and National League) automatically advance to the playoffs at the end of the regular season. For the remaining two playoff spots, the four teams with the highest win percentages play in wild-card games. Players from around the world strive to reach the MLB stage for their professional careers, as MLB is considered the top baseball league globally.

Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) – Japan

Nippon Professional Baseball is divided into two leagues: the Central League and the Pacific League, which each have six teams. Each league plays 144 games during the regular season. Following the regular season, the top three teams from each league enter the playoffs, and the champions from both leagues compete in the Japan Series to determine the overall champion. The Japanese passion for baseball extends beyond the professional leagues to include leagues for various age groups, from elementary school to university, as well as corporate and intercity competitions.

Chinese Baseball League (CBL) – China

The popularity of baseball leagues and the sport itself is relatively low in China due to its lack of a strong baseball culture. As a semi-professional league, the Chinese Baseball League does not meet the requirements of a professional league. CBL was founded in 2002 with four teams and later expanded to seven. Due to sponsorship and financial issues, the number of league games gradually decreased over the years, and was even suspended for two years. There are still baseball teams in China despite the lack of successful baseball leagues.

World Baseball Classic

The World Baseball Classic is an international baseball tournament jointly organized by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the International Baseball Federation. The inaugural competition took place in Japan on March 3, 2006, with sixteen invited countries’ representatives playing 39 games across four venues. In the history of international baseball, it is considered the largest event.

Baseball World Cup

The Baseball World Cup is organized by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and features national teams from various countries. In 1938, only the United Kingdom and the United States participated in the first edition, and the United Kingdom won. Initially, the Baseball World Cup was held annually, but it was interrupted after 1953. In 1961, the interval was changed to four years. In 1969, it became an annual event. Every even-numbered year since 1974, it has been held every two years. Teams from Europe, Asia, North America, Central America, and South America qualify through preliminary rounds to compete in the finals, along with the host country and the previous edition’s champion.

World Series

A World Series is an annual championship series held in October by Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. This is the highest level of professional baseball competition. During the series, the American League and National League champions compete in a best-of-seven format (except in 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921, when a best-of-nine format was used). World Series trophies are awarded to the winning team. With the exception of 1904, when the New York Giants refused to participate, and 1994, when players struck, the World Series has been held every year since 1903.

Little League Baseball

Carl Stotz founded Little League Baseball in Williamsport in 1939. The organization organizes three-tiered baseball events, including the Little League World Series, the Junior League World Series, and the Senior League World Series. Taiwan stopped participating in Little League Baseball events in 1997 because its team formation methods frequently did not comply with the regulations. In 2003, Taiwan rejoined Little League Baseball, only playing Little League.

IBAF U-12 Baseball World Cup

The IBAF U-12 Baseball World Cup is an international baseball tournament hosted by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). Players under the age of 12 are not allowed to participate in the tournament. First held in Taipei City, Taiwan, in July 2011. During the inaugural edition, thirteen national representative teams participated, divided into two groups: Group A with seven teams, and Group B with six teams.