Congratulations to all the participants in the first-ever World Baseball Classic and especially to Japan, who became champions by winning the final round with a hard fought 10-6 victory over Cuba!
Baseball. We Americans have labeled it our 'national pastime,' but the love of the game goes way beyond our borders. In March 2006, star players from around the globe had a chance to meet and complete in the first-ever World Baseball Classic. Sixteen national teams were formed, consisting of players who are either current residents or can claim heritage of the country or territory they will represent.
The 16 teams were divided into four pools. In the first round of the tournament, Pool A teams (China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea) played in Tokyo; Pool B (Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and South Africa) played in Arizona; Pool C (The Netherlands, Panama, Cuba, and Puerto Rico) played in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Pool D (Australia, Italy, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic) played in Florida.
Winners advanced to the second round, with two pools of four playing in either San Juan or Anaheim, California. Semifinal games and the Final Game were held at PETCO Park in San Diego, California. Japan took home the title, but anyone who held 2006 World Baseball Classic tickets had a chance to take part in a memorable piece of sports history.
Note: Your World Baseball Classic tickets are sold in strips, each of which is good for an entire set of games in a given round.
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