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Baseball, Men

Date28 July – 7 August 2021
LocationYokohama Sutajiamu, Yokohama / Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, Fukushima
Participants142 from 6 countries
FormatGroup stage followed by double-elimination rounds.

Baseball returned to the Olympic Program for the first time since 2008 in Beijing. It had been an Olympic sport since 1988 and had been a demonstration sport at the 1912, 1936, 1956, 1964, 1984, and 1988 Olympics. The tournament was modified with only 6 teams competing in two groups of three. The group play was really a seeding round that advanced all 6 teams to what was effectively a double-elimination round.

Japan and Korea closed down their national professional leagues and brought all their best players to the Olympics. The United States, however, continued with Major League Baseball, and their team mostly consisted of minor leaguers, though a few of them had major league experience.

The final teams were Japan, the United States, Korea, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Israel, which represented Europe. Japan and the USA won their groups and met in round two of the tournament, as the other four teams played to advance to the semi-finals, where Korea advanced to meet Japan, who had defeated the USA, 7-6. Japan won that game, 5-2.

Japan defeated the USA in round two, although the United States advanced through the losers’ bracket (termed a repechage by the Organizing Committee), and they met again in the gold medal game. It was closely fought, with Japan taking an early 1-0 lead, but the United States could never score. Starter Masato Morishita shut down the Americans and his relievers held onto the lead. American starter Nick Martinez pitched well, giving up only a third inning home run to Munetaka Murakami.

The Japanese added an insurance run in the eighth, and final Japanese reliever Ryoji Kuribayashi held on for the 2-0 shutout victory and the gold medal. Though there were no Japanese fans at the gold medal game, because of the pandemic, they reveled in the victory as baseball is a national craze in Japan.

The Dominican Republic defeated Korea in the bronze medal match-up, 10-6. With the USA winning the silver medal, American Eddy Alvarez became only the sixth person to win medals in Summer and Winter Olympic sports, as he had won a silver in short-track speedskating in the men’s relay at Sochi in 2014.

2United StatesUSASilver
3Dominican RepublicDOMBronze
4Republic of KoreaKOR

Preliminary Round

Date28 – 31 July 2021
FormatRound-robin pool.

Group A

Date28 – 31 July 2021
2Dominican RepublicDOM1124-4
Game #128 Jul 12:00JapanJPN4 – 3Dominican RepublicDOM
Game #230 Jul 12:00Dominican RepublicDOM1 – 0MexicoMEX
Game #331 Jul 12:00JapanJPN7 – 4MexicoMEX

Group B

Date29 – 31 July 2021
1United StatesUSA20412-3
2Republic of KoreaKOR1128-9
Game #129 Jul 19:00Republic of KoreaKOR6 – 5IsraelISR
Game #230 Jul 19:00United StatesUSA8 – 1IsraelISR
Game #331 Jul 19:00United StatesUSA4 – 2Republic of KoreaKOR

Round One

Date1 August 2021
Game #101 Aug 12:00IsraelISR12 – 5MexicoMEX
Game #201 Aug 19:00Republic of KoreaKOR4 – 3Dominican RepublicDOM

Round Two

Date2 August 2021
Game #102 Aug 12:00Republic of KoreaKOR11 – 1IsraelISR
Game #202 Aug 19:00JapanJPN7 – 6United StatesUSA

Round One Repêchage

Date3 August 2021
Game #103 Aug 19:00Dominican RepublicDOM7 – 6IsraelISR

Round Two Repêchage

Date4 August 2021
Game #104 Aug 12:00United StatesUSA3 – 1Dominican RepublicDOM


Date4 – 5 August 2021
Game #104 Aug 19:00JapanJPN5 – 2Republic of KoreaKOR
Game #205 Aug 19:00United StatesUSA7 – 2Republic of KoreaKOR

Final Round

Date7 August 2021
FormatMedal round.
Game 1/207 Aug 19:00JapanJPN2 – 0United StatesUSA
Game 3/407 Aug 12:00Dominican RepublicDOM10 – 6Republic of KoreaKOR