SYDNEY, 12 December - Sixteen fans, one representing each of the participating World Baseball Classic countries/territories, will cheer on their nation during the tournament from New York City as part of the "MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition." Fans may begin applying today at MLBFanCave.com/WBC to be a "Cave Dweller" and represent their National Teams inside the MLB Fan Cave. Entries - which include an essay and video submission - will be accepted through January 11th.
While taking part in the 18-day "MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition," the "Cave Dwellers" will watch every game of the Classic live at all hours of the day and night. They also will share their national pride, meet baseball personalities and chronicle their experiences online through videos, blogs and social media. As the teams are eliminated from the World Baseball Classic tournament, the fan representing that country/territory will leave the MLB Fan Cave. The fans of the final four teams will travel to the Championship Round in San Francisco, CA to watch their countries/territories compete for the World Baseball Classic Championship. Fans are eligible to represent any country/territory that they reside in or the country/territory of their heritage.
The MLB Fan Cave is a unique event space mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, technology and art. Supported by MLB Advanced Media, it also provides baseball fans with a constant flow of online video and conversation via social media. With more than 1.2 million combined followers from 129 countries and territories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the MLB Fan Cave has built a large community of baseball fans from around the world. The Cave Dwellers will have a chance to interact with these worldwide baseball fans during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The official World Baseball Classic social media channels on Facebook and Twitter, which have seen tremendous growth since the Qualifying Round, will provide additional outlets for the Cave Dwellers to connect with fans around the globe.
More than 400 celebrity visitors, including nearly 200 current Major Leaguers as well as musicians, actors, former players and others, have visited the MLB Fan Cave since its launch in 2011. They have participated in more than 500 online videos for fans to share via social media. Some of the biggest stars in baseball have visited the MLB Fan Cave, including 2009 World Baseball Classic participants Miguel Cabrera (Team Venezuela), Robinson Cano (Team Dominican Republic), Aroldis Chapman (Team Cuba), Adrian Gonzalez (Team Mexico), Derek Jeter (Team USA) and Rich Thompson (Team Australia).
The 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is the third edition of the tournament, will feature the world's best players representing their countries and territories. Thirty-nine games will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2 through March 19, 2013. Team Japan is the two-time defending champion of the World Baseball Classic, having won in 2006 and 2009.
For the first time, four Qualifiers were held for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which expanded the competitive field from 16 to 28 countries. Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei and Spain emerged from the Qualifiers to earn spots in the March 2013 event. Those four Qualifier teams will join the teams of the 12 countries/terrirories - Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela - that received automatic invitations based on their performances in the 2009 tournament.
In the United States, MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language broadcast partner for all 39 games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The Semi-Final and Final games will take place March 17th- 19th at San Francisco's AT&T Park, hosted by the San Francisco Giants. Second round games will be held in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan from March 8th-12th and at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida from March 12th-16th. First round games will be held at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome in Fukuoka, Japan from March 2nd-6th; at Intercontinental Stadium from March 2nd-5th in Taichung, Taiwan; at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico from March 7th-10th; and at Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Phoenix, Arizona from March 7th-10th.
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. More than 1.5 million fans from all over the world have attended the tournament games, held in March 2006 and 2009. Team Japan is the reigning World Baseball Classic Champion, taking home both the inaugural and 2009 titles. The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be played in March 2013 and will again feature the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter.
About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.