The path has been opened for American Major League Baseball (MLB) stars to participate in baseball, which is likely to return as an official sport at the 2028 Los Angeles (LA) Olympics.
Japan’s Kyodo News quoted Riccardo Fricari, president of the World Baseball Softball Council (WBSC), who attended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Committee meeting held in Mumbai, India, and reported that MLB’s participation in the LA Olympics was confirmed by the MLB Secretariat.
Kyodo News added, “If the return of baseball as an official sport at the LA Olympics is confirmed, MLB players will also participate, and the MLB players’ union has also agreed to this.”
The official events for the 2028 LA Olympics will be finalized at the IOC General Assembly held in Mumbai from the 15th to the 17th.
Baseball and softball were adopted as demonstration sports at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and became official sports at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
It was excluded from the official sport at the end of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was temporarily held at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and was excluded again from the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The biggest reason is the conflict between the IOC and the MLB Secretariat. The IOC pressured MLB to allow MLB players to participate in the Olympics, but the MLB Secretariat countered that it was difficult to dispatch MLB players because the season was in full swing.
The 1992 Barcelona Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games had no major problems as only amateur players participated, but the conflict between the two began in earnest at the 2000 Sydney Games, when professional players were allowed to participate.메이저놀이터
Countries such as Korea and Japan sent elite players to the Olympics, but the U.S. mainly consisted of minor league players, and did not live up to its reputation as the “country of baseball,” winning only one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in past Olympics.
Instead, MLB established the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which features all major league players, in place of the Olympics, and has held six competitions from 2006 to this year.
If the MLB Secretariat continues to approve MLB players’ participation in the Olympics with the LA Olympics as an opportunity, the possibility of baseball remaining as an official Olympic sport even after the LA Games increases.
Kyodo News said, “It is now possible for Shohei Ohtani to participate in the Olympics. It has not been decided whether the MLB season will be suspended.” Chairman Fricari said, “He is confident that baseball is the top candidate for the LA Olympic Organizing Committee.”