The Korea national baseball team, nicknamed "Blue Bogy (Template:Lang-ko)", is the national baseball team of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). It has participated in the Summer Olympic Games in 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2000. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, it won the gold medal in a final victory against Cuba. They are currently ranked fourth in the world, behind Cuba.Template:IBAF World Rankings ref/2010 June
2000 Sydney OlympicsEdit
Template:See also Since the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, professional baseball players have been permitted to play and the Korean team that was formed was often called the "Korean Dream Team". This team won the bronze medal.. At that time, the top four teams (Cuba, United States, South Korea and Japan) advanced to the semi-finals. In the semi-final game, the Koreans faced the United States team and lost. In the bronze medal match, the Koreans played against the Japanese and won the game 3-1.
2008 Beijing OlympicsEdit
Template:See also After losing 4-3 to Japan at the 2007 Asian Baseball Championships, the Koreans finished with a 2-1 record and were forced to seek entrance to the 2008 Olympics via the Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held March 7–14, 2008 in Taichung, Chinese Taipei.
The Korean Roster, for the qualifying, is mainly professional players from the Korea Baseball Organization and is not subjected to the scheduling conflicts that troubled the teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico.
Going into the tournament rated by the experts as an outsider, or a dark horse at most, South Korea surprised everybody by finishing the group stage in first place with a perfect 7-0 record. The team began its run with come from behind win against heavily favored United States, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning with a sacrifice fly. Disappointment soon followed the next game, however, as China (undeniably the weakest team in the tournament) stymied Korea for most of the game before the game was suspended because of rain in the 6th inning with a 0-0 score. Korea bounced back the following day with a tightly contested 1-0 victory over Canada, with Ryu Hyun-Jin recording a complete game shutout. After dispatching their rivals Japan 5-3 in the next game, Korea finished off China in the continuation of the aforementioned suspended game by winning 1-0 in the extra innings. Korea then clinched their place in the final four by dispatching Chinese Taipei 9-8, followed by another surprise victory over heavily favored Cubans, 7-4 (which guaranteed them finishing first place in the group round). The team finished their Round Robin Tournament in style, hammering the Netherlands 10-0 and beating them on mercy rule.
In the Semifinal match, the team was once again matched up against their arch-rivals Japan. The first half of the game was very tight as Japan was leading 2-1 going into the 7th inning. Korea soon tied the ballgame at 2 apiece in the bottom half, then took the lead in the 8th thanks in large part to Lee Seung-Yeop's clutch 2-run home run. Korea added 2 more runs that inning. Korea eventually ended with a 6-2 victory. In the finals they overcame the perennial favorites Cuba for the second time in the tournament, surviving a bases-loaded 9th inning situation with a double play to win the game 3-2, allowing Korea to obtain their gold medal for Baseball. Korea also earned 12 other gold medals during the Olympics making them the second highest gold medalist country after China in Asia.
World Baseball ClassicEdit
2006 World Baseball ClassicEdit
Template:See also The team playing in the 2006 World Baseball Classic also included Korean players from Major League Baseball. In the Classic, the team played in and won every game they played in Pool A. They advanced to round two, again winning all three games to secure a place in the semifinals. Upon reaching the semifinals, the South Korean government announced that it would waive for the players on the team the mandatory two-year military service required of all young Korean men. However, at the semifinals, the Korean team lost to Japan, whom they had beaten twice previously. This led to controversy over the regulations of the WBC concerning the fact that Korea had to face Japan three times and that it was Japan that was allowed to go to the finals, when it had four victories and three losses up to that point, two of those losses to Korea, while the Korean team, which had only one loss and had already beaten Japan twice, was eliminated from the finals.
2009 World Baseball ClassicEdit
Template:See also South Korea competed in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, playing the first round in Pool A in Tokyo. The South Koreans opened the tournament with a 7-0 rout of Chinese Taipei. South Korea then lost to Japan in a 14-2 contest shortened to 7 innings by the WBC's early termination rule. In its third game, South Korea soundly defeated China 14-0 in a similarly shortened contest, securing advancement to the second round and ousting China from the tournament. South Korea won the final Pool A game by a 1-0 win over Japan in order to advance as the Pool A winner. In Pool 1, the round 2 of the WBC, South Korea beat Mexico 8-2 and then went on to beat Japan again 4-1, securing advancement to the semifinals. South Korea beat Venezuela 10-2 to secure a spot on the finals. In the final game however, South Korea lost to Japan 5-3.
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