World Baseball and MLB Sign Pro Agreement

Baseball Worlds Start trek to Thunder Bay

NEW YORK – THUNDER BAY – SPORTS — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) and Major League Baseball (MLB) today announced a global professional players agreement for the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup 2017, which will be staged 1-10 September in Thunder Bay, Canada.

As part of the new MLB-WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup partnership, MLB affiliated players (born 1999-2001) are eligible to participate with their respective National Teams.

Twelve nations — Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, South Africa and the United States — will be competing in the official junior baseball world championship, and the respective national governing bodies will have until 27 August to finalize their rosters for the U-18 Baseball World Cup.

“This landmark agreement further raises baseball’s international profile, particularly following the unprecedented success and popularity of this year’s World Baseball Classic,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “The National Team is intended to be a representation of a country’s best players, and together with Major League Baseball’s shared vision, the top young baseball players in the world will be able to wear their nations’ jerseys in Thunder Bay.”

“We are pleased to work with the WBSC to give our young affiliated players the opportunity to play on this international platform,” said MLB Chief Baseball Officer, Joe Torre. “MLB remains committed to our youth all over the world and playing against the best competition in their age group will only enhance their development. As I had the honor of doing at the World Baseball Classic, there is no greater feeling than that of representing your country on the ball field.”

“Major League Baseball continues to be a great partner in targeting youth, in evolving the culture of our sport and in building the National Team brand, which is resonating with fans and players at unprecedented levels,” said President Fraccari.

Tickets for the XXVIII WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup can be purchased at

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