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Could the Great American Pastime's Youth World Cup Move to Taiwan Forever?

18 Apr, 2018

By: Michael Popke

The U-12 Baseball World Cup (which any U.S. city with the proper venue can host) could possibly move to Taiwan permanently. At least, that’s what Taiwan wants.

And yes, that sound you heard was a lot of Great American Pastime purists choking on their peanuts and Cracker Jack. They certainly care if it never comes back.

Tainan City, on the island of Taiwan, has hosted the first four editions of the event.

“Tainan wants to host the world through baseball,” the city’s acting Mayor Men-yen Li told the Olympics news website, Inside the Games. “Baseball has always been the most popular national sport in Taiwan. Let’s connect the world together with baseball.”

According to an article in Taiwan News, the Taiwan premier William Lai, who served as two-term mayor of the city before becoming premier late last year, dangles a nice bait to the WBSC: a purpose-built venue for the event. According to the WBSC press release, Taiwan has proposed to WBSC Executive Committee a $90 million eco-friendly project including an on-site hotel, a players' village, a training center and a youth museum, and expressed the interest in being a long-term host for the event. 

Tainan officials said hosting the event for a long term will help to promote the southern town as an international city and encourage future generations to play baseball.

Sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, the U-12 Baseball World Cup is the most elite and highest level of competition in its age category. Unlike other youth international competitions, including the Little League World Series (which involves local teams), the U-12 Baseball World Cup is the only global event in all of sports to feature national teams with players 11 and 12 years old.

It launched in 2011 and has been held very two years. Chinese Taipei won the inaugural tournament, but the United States has won the past three — always beating Chinese Taipei in the championship game.

Here is a link to the bid video for Tainan to be the long-term host.

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