Water polo 1, fencing two, five, three, skate four, surf five… Well, we’re not yet to change the Hungarian gold medal calculator before the Olympics, but the fact that new sports and new disciplines will be introduced at the Tokyo Games. In our series you can get acquainted with those, the third is baseball and softball.
|Baseball’s road to the Olympics was a bumpy ride (Image: AFP)|
While other new sports are already gearing up for their debut in Tokyo, it’s possible that baseball (and its little sister, softball) only managed to clap back into the show to the point of a swan song. After all, as long as the International Olympic Committee tries to consume the small five-ring ball with strict control of the number of athletes, such sports, which are popular only in certain corners of the world, are not easy (because only more than half come out) . Accordingly, in Tokyo, for example, hardly six baseball and softball teams compete, but they occupy more shares of athletes than fencing, tennis players or table tennis players, and in the absence of six contenders as well as the other four sports combined.
|Number of gold medals: 2
Number of competitors: 234 (6-6 teams, 144 men, 90 women)
Location: Jokohama Stadium Fukushima Azuma Stadium
Date: July 21-27 (softball); July 28 – August 7 (baseball)
No wonder, then, that baseball’s bumpy road led to his performance in Tokyo. Between 1904 and 1988 he was tried eight times as an exhibition sport, then between 1992 and 2008 he won a gold medal (softball as the women’s version, he joined in 1996) so he could claim the questionable glory he’s had since 1936 and. The sad fall of the polo shirt (holding the softball) became the first sport to be eliminated from the five-ring show However, since baseball is still a national sport in Japan (it is the second strongest and most popular league in the world after the MLS, MLB, for example) ), we managed to restore the pressure, but in 2024, in Paris, we will look again in vain at the Los Angeles 2028 post still hanging in the air …
In Tokyo, on the other hand, we’re not left without baseball (and softball) games, and even without due diligence, we could easily overdose. Thanks to the intricate organization, the six baseball teams will play 16 games. The national teams of Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, as well as the United States, South Korea and Israel, of course without the MLB chapters, will have three-way rounds in two groups, after which everyone will advance to the knockout stage directly (where the top winners only join in the second round), and they even fight fights Condolences. (The traditional baseball nation, the lack of Cuba, which recently won three Olympic medals and two silvers, and who recently failed to qualify for pre-Olympics, and Israel’s presence with a moderate baseball tradition in the field has probably been a close watch.) Four echoes plus an Israeli descent Jew, and therefore automatically eligible for citizenship, recruited and prepared for a national team of American University and half or three-quarters of the professional players who did not stop until Tokyo.)
Since baseball and softball recall a barely thirty-year history in Hungary, and there are currently no more than six to seven hundred certified athletes, we can’t be surprised that our national teams won’t be participating in the Olympics lately. Baseball players, for example, are currently fighting in Europe’s third line, Group C, but the Alliance is also working hard to promote the sport and expand its youth base – but there’s still a long way to go before the Four Bases become Five Hoops.
Softball players go even further: they decide to rank in a total of 17 matches, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom, which collect three gold and one silver, losing only one of the last ones. 23 matches (Beijing vs Japan Final) Countries will first play a full round of rounds, then the top two will win the gold, and the third and fourth on the bronze.
What will happen in so many matches? Well, first of all, we’ll wait and see if something does, and that’s of course a good summary of a five-ring sports career, but really: The beauty of baseball comes from the tense hope the next moment you’ll unleash a truly organized chaos. Because baseball is played against two teams trying to score points through nine innings, whoever has the most points wins. The scoring method, with overall simplification, is for the bowler, who originally owns the ball, to hit at 150 kilometers with the racket, the latter hoping to be able to hit many of his eight teammates. scattered on the field. He picks it up and throws it again, and at the time, the man who got hit – or, in a qualified case, someone from his brigade – is successfully running around the diamond-shaped track. In all nine rounds, three batsmen of both teams may attempt to hit the ball and then run to the first of at least three peaks, but if they cannot slip to a normal throw three times (the bowler has four chances for which), they are disqualified, at the time Play. And if there is a tie after the nine rounds, the so-called turns, then the additional turns come with three rackets until the fight is over. Sure, sports have thousands of layers and dazzling depths, but the point is.
|From a bird’s perspective (Photo: AFP)|
Softball, on the other hand, is played with a slightly lighter paddle and a larger ball, and a softer (but still hard) ball, but the most exciting difference is that it rolls the ball closer to the hit from closer and below, not from the muscles. In addition, there are smaller diamonds to go around and the entire track, and instead of nine, the fight consists of only seven innings – and in the Olympics, softball is played only by women, and baseball is played only by men. They may not be for long.
Jose Bautista (Dominican Republic)
Kat Osterman (USA)