Baseball
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
Baseball, Athens 2004.png
VenueHelliniko Olympic Complex
Dates15–25 August
Teams8
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s)  Cuba
2nd place, silver medalist(s)  Australia
3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  Japan
← 2000
2008 →

Baseball at the 2004 Summer Olympics was held on two separate diamonds within the Helliniko Olympic Complex, from 15 to 25 August. For the second time in Olympic competition, professional baseball players were eligible to participate, though no active players from Major League Baseball were available.

The competition consisted of a preliminary round with each team playing all the other teams once, for a total of seven games. The top four teams at the end of this round advanced to the medals round. The medals round consisted of two semifinal games with the winners advancing to the gold medal game. The losing teams of the semifinals would play in the bronze medal game.

Team squads

Main article: Baseball at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Team squads

Team Qualification criteria Appearance
 Australia Winner of Oceania Champion vs Africa Champion (South Africa)  3rd
 Canada Second place at Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Panama  1st
 Chinese Taipei Second place at Asian Championship  2nd
 Cuba First place at Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Panama  4th
 Greece Automatic as host nation of the Olympics  1st
 Italy First place at European Olympic Qualification Tournament  4th
 Japan First place at Asian Championship  4th
 Netherlands Second place at European Olympic Qualification Tournament  3rd

Controversy

Despite being the home of baseball and the defending gold medalists, the United States did not make it to Athens after losing a qualifying game to Mexico, 1–0. The Americas Tournament, which decided which two teams from North America, South America and the Caribbean went to Athens, was single-elimination, when almost all other baseball tournaments are double-elimination. Canada eventually defeated Mexico to advance to the Olympics. The qualifying rounds were also scheduled in such a way that the United States could not even use minor-leaguers and had to rely on collegians instead.[1] (Many American ballplayers made it to Athens anyway, as members of the nascent Greek team, which featured only one player actually born in Greece.)

Others took issue with the fact that three of the eight slots in the Olympics (including the hosts) were European, while the Americas and Asia (with much stronger baseball nations) got only two slots apiece. The absence of such teams as the USA, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and South Korea led to much media discussion.

The 2008 tournament changed the qualifying procedure; the United States qualified, as did Cuba and the host country, China.

Bracket

 
SemifinalsGold Medal Match
 
      
 
 
 
 
 Australia1
 
 
 
 Japan0
 
 Cuba6
 
 
 
 Australia2
 
 Canada5
 
 
 Cuba8
 
Bronze Medal Match
 
 
 
 
 
 Japan11
 
 
 Canada2

Results

Preliminary round

The top four teams (Japan, Cuba, Canada and Australia) advanced to the semifinals. To determine the seed ranking of teams tied in the standings, the result of the two teams' game against each other was used. Japan therefore received first place due to the win over Cuba. In the semi-finals, Japan (#1) played Australia (#4) and Cuba (#2) played Canada (#3). The higher ranked team in each game was the home team.

Pos Team Pld W L RF RA RD PCT GB Qualification
1  Japan 7 6 1 49 20 +29 .857[a] Advance to knockout round
2  Cuba 7 6 1 41 17 +24 .857[a]
3  Canada 7 5 2 39 17 +22 .714 1
4  Australia (H) 7 4 3 49 30 +19 .571 2
5  Chinese Taipei 7 3 4 24 28 −4 .429 3
6  Netherlands 7 2 5 29 55 −26 .286 4
7  Greece 7 1 6 24 49 −25 .143[b] 5
8  Italy 7 1 6 19 58 −39 .143[b] 5
Source: Baseball Reference
(H) Host
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Japan defeated Cuba 6–3.
  2. ^ a b Greece defeated Italy 12–7.
August 15
August 16
August 17
August 18
August 20
August 21
August 22

Semifinals

Bronze medal match

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Japan 2 0 4 1 0 0 0 4 0 11 13 0
 Canada 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
WP: Tsuyoshi Wada (2–0)   LP: Mike Johnson (1–2)
Home runs:
JPN: K. Jojima in 1st, 2 RBIs
CAN: J. Ware in 5th, 1 RBI

Final

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Cuba 0 0 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 6 13 1
 Australia 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 7 0
WP: Adiel Palma (3–0)   LP: John Stephens (0–2)   Sv: Danny Betancourt (1–0–2)
Home runs:
CUB: F. Cepeda in 4th, 2 RBIs
AUS: P. Gonzalez in 5th, 1 RBI

Final standing

References

  1. ^ "2004 Olympics (Rosters) - BR Bullpen".