World Baseball Classic Review

Hopefully the 2026 tournament can be as entertaining as this years.



Moments like these are special for the players and fans

Leo Colena, Staff writer

The World Baseball Classic has just come to a conclusion and Japan is the World Champions. This year’s classic was one of the most entertaining tournaments in years. So much good competition and so well played, it was a pleasure to watch.

It isn’t just an opinion that it was one of the most entertaining Classics, it is a fact. MLB reported that the 2023 edition registered a record attendance for the first round of the competition, drawing 1,010,999 fans, the most attended round in the tournament’s history and a 98 percent increase on the previously held record of 510,056 in 2017.

Records weren’t only set in the United States, but in Japan as well. The Group B games, held at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, also broke records for the most fans of any round in tournament history (361,976) and the highest average attendance (36,198) of any first or second round group in tournament history.

Shohei and Trout face off in Championship game (Sporting News)

Even non baseball fans were purchasing tickets, or gathering around their TV with their families to watch their countries compete. It is a great environment watching some of the greatest players in the world compete, who will go right back to being teammates and best friends right after the tournament is finished. For example the last pitch of the championship game was between Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. The two of them are teammates on the Angels and very good friends. Two of the best baseball players in the game going at it. Shohei struck out Trout to win the championship and it will probably be talked about throughout baseball for many years (especially in the Angels’s locker room). 

The tournament is a great way to get ready for the season and an even better experience for the players. Mookie Betts, who has won two World Series championships, claims that this tournament has been the best baseball experience of his career. 

Many players had breakout tournaments and are going to be expected to have big seasons. Trae Turner’s final WBC stats was a .391 batting average, and finished third in RBI’s with 11. He also tied the World Baseball Classic home run record with five. 

Ondrej Satoria striking out Shohei Ohtani (Larry Brown Sports)

The Red Sox new pickup Masatake Yoshida also had a fantastic tournament, coming in first in RBI’s with thirteen. He was a huge reason for why Japan was able to make it as far as they did, and I am hoping that he is able to bring the talent to the Red Sox this year.

There were lots of new opportunities presented for some in this year’s classic. For example, it is no shock that baseball in the Czech Republic is not insanely popular. For most teams it is the best major league players in said country combined to make a super time, but for the Czech Republic, it was a team made up of a small collection of one major leaguer, a few minor league players, or talented amateurs who got the chance to compete on the big stage. The majority of the team had to take time off of their day jobs so they were able to come play. 

When the Czech faced off against the #1 seed Japan, The starting pitcher Ondrej Satoria (Electrician) was able to strike out the great Shoehei Ohtani. Although they ended up falling 10-2, they were still able to somehow put up two runs, and strike out Shohei. They will all have some good stories to tell to their coworkers when they head back home to their daily routine.

I can’t wait to see what the 2026 World Baseball Classic brings and see if Japan can repeat, or if the United States can get revenge and go all the way. I will also be excited to see the Czech Republic baseball team, and how far they can go in the tournament.