Baseball / Japanese Baseball

NPB wants 'best athletes' to compete in 2020 Olympic baseball tournament

Kyodo

Nippon Professional Baseball wasted no time on Thursday in stating its vision after baseball, along with softball, was approved as an additional sport for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We aspire to have our best team,” NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki told an early morning news conference in Tokyo. “Our first priority is assembling a team that can win.”

NPB will shut down its season for the duration of the 2020 Games, and World Baseball Softball Confederation president Riccardo Fraccari said Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League, and South Korea’s Korean Baseball Organization had also committed to sending their best players.

But whether Major League Baseball will deliver its stars or not remains to be seen. One reason baseball was dropped from the core Olympic program after the 2008 Beijing Games was MLB’s refusal to release players during the heart of its season.