Baseball as an Olympic sport has got an official and unofficial version of its history since two different years have been discussed as its Olympic start. Unofficially, baseball initially appeared at the Summer Olympics in 1904 in St Louis, while in 1912 in Stockholm it appeared as a demonstration sport. It became an official Olympic sport at the Barcelona Olympic games in 1992, and it held its status till the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. After that, it was excluded from the London Olympic Games in 2012 and Rio Olympics in 2016, while it was revived at Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Sports fans at that time were thrilled to see baseball at the Olympic Games again, just how sports betting fans will be excited to find our bet365 bonus code here. In other words, baseball history has been pretty dynamic and unpredictable, and here is a detailed close-up of what actually happened.
The Unofficial Version
In its unofficial version, the period from 1904 to 1992, it is little known about the starting year of 1904, since little was recorded of the Summer Olympics in St Louis. One of the rare facts that are known is that the winner of the baseball tournament was Washington University. In 1912 at the Stockholm Olympics, there were eight Olympic medallists who competed in baseball. There are records showing that in the first exhibition match the USA played against the Swedish team and that the USA team was composed of volunteers from the track and team field, while the Swedish team was made up of a local club Vasteras. The second exhibition match included two American teams, as well as Olympic legend Jim Thorpe. These exhibition matches were presented in other Olympics to come, and during this demonstration period, the USA team was always the winner, having competed against the Finish, Australian, Japanese, Mexican, and Cuban teams.
The Official Version
When baseball became official in 1992, there were eight different teams that fought for the medal in baseball. Unexpectedly, Cuba became the first national team to raise a golden baseball trophy. From 1992 to 2000, baseball was restricted to amateur players only, while from 2000 at the Sidney Olympics, professional players were allowed to play. It is interesting to notice that although the American team was always a favorite to win the gold medal, in 2004 it was eliminated as early as in the qualifications. Cuba won the gold medal in baseball that year, and in 2008, South Korea came as a surprise and won at the baseball finals.
What About the Next Olympics?
The real reason for excluding baseball from the Olympics as an official sport lies in its universality. At the London Olympic Games in 2012, baseball was replaced by rugby and golf, which was explained by the fact that official Olympic sports should be followed worldwide with a significant number of supporters. In the same manner, the Olympic committee required more professional players which can perform at baseball, since an official Olympic sport shouldn’t be restricted only to amateurs. It reappeared at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, yet it isn’t expected at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. Since the American national baseball team has a final intention of winning the gold medal after all the difficulties in the past, the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 2028 will be a perfect chance for it.