Thunder Bay to host 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship
Thunder Bay, ON: The Thunder Bay International Baseball Association (TBIBA) today announced that the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) has selected Thunder Bay, Ontario to host the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championships, one of the highest profile international baseball tournaments outside of the Olympics. Participation from all baseball playing regions of the world, namely Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, Central America (Caribbean) and South America is expected. The biennial event will take place over eleven days in July of 2010.
“The Thunder Bay International Baseball Association, since its inception, has had the goal of hosting a World Championships one day. That day is now a reality.” stated Larry Hebert, President of the TBIBA. “We have been building our resources and expertise and overcome several barriers to be considered as a World Championship venue.”
The announcement comes after many years of preparation that included the successful hosting of the Canada Cup (2004) The Three Nations Cup (2000) and the Gore Motors Honda Nations Cup (2000) and two previous bid attempts. Support for the successful bid was received from the Ministry of Health Promotion and the City of Thunder Bay Sport Bid Administrative Advisory Committee and Baseball Canada.
"Thunder Bay being awarded the 2010 World Junior event is a testament to their hard working and dedicated hosting group." says Baseball Canada President Ray Carter in a congratulatory note. "They have been a great supporter of our National Teams and National events and its only fitting that they finally get to host an International event."
The World Junior Baseball Championships date back to 1981. Since 2000, the 12 team event has been held every two years and involves the Under-19 National teams of member countries of the International Baseball Federation. The tournament is regarded as a launching pad for players aspiring to play professionally. Players such as Larry Walker, Russell Martin, Éric Gagné and Adam Loewen and are among the more than 40 Canadians who have participated in the event before moving on to sign professional contracts.
“Preparation for this event will bring many enhancements to our community and we anticipate that it will leave a legacy of better opportunities for ongoing recreation for our residents,” points out Larry Hebert. “But preparation for the event will take cooperation from many segments of our community. The Thunder Bay Baseball Association work on upgrading the facilities at Baseball Central and promoting the game of baseball throughout the city is a great example. We are looking forward to inviting others into the fold for this exciting challenge.”
The other host countries have included USA, Mexico, Australia, Cuba and Chinese-Taipei.
An announcement on October 19th committing $200,000 to a successful bid was made by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Health Promotion’s program for supporting International Amateur Event Hosting.
The support of Baseball Ontario, Baseball Canada and USA Baseball was also received to support the bid for the event.
For more information about the TBIBA and their plans to host the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championships:
Executive Director TBIBA
IBAF World Junior Baseball Championship Facts
· Since, 2000, the 12 team event has been held every two years and involves the Under-19 National teams of member countries of the International Baseball Federation;
· There have been 22 competitions dating back to 1981. Besides Canada, hosts have included the USA, Mexico, Australia, Cuba and Chinese-Taipei;
· A total of 46 games are played. Countries competing represent all baseball playing regions of the world, namely Asia, the South Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, Central America (Caribbean) and South America;
· Twelve countries compete in the World Junior Baseball Championships over 11 days which includes one rest day;
· To become eligible, countries take part in regional qualifying events usually in the year prior to the event;
· The twelve countries which competed in the Cuba event recently held in September 2006 included Spain, Italy, Holland, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, United States, Chinese-Taipei, Australia, Brazil and Korea. Canada won the bronze medal at that event;
· More than 40 Canadians have participated in the event before moving on to sign professional contracts;
· Several Major League stars have played in this event including Larry Walker (retired), Eric Gagne (Dodgers), Matt Stairs (Tigers), Adam Loewen (Orioles), Russell Martin (Dodgers) Stubby Clapp (former St. Louis Cardinal) from Canada; Alex Rodriguez (Yankees), Mike Mussina (Yankees), Shawn Green (Mets), Ryan Klesko (Padres), Greg Zaun, (Blue Jays), Brandon League (Blue Jays), Joe Mauer (Twins), Michael Cuddyer, (Twins), Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers), JJ Hardy, (Brewers) and Chad Billingsley (Dodgers) from the United States, and Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) for Korea;
· The event’s hockey counterpart is the World Junior Hockey Championships.