Global Baseball Games between Team Europe and Japan held in Osaka on March 6 & 7, 2024

Global Baseball Games between Team Europe and Japan held in Osaka on March 6 & 7, 2024
The second edition of the Global Baseball Games between Team Europe and the Samurai Japan national team take place at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka on March 6 and 7, 2024. Team Europe roster will be announced on February 14th.

Nine years after its first edition, the Global Baseball Games return to Japan.  Team Japan is managed by Hirokazu Ibata, who was a former Japanese all-star player and manager of the Japanese national team until the Premier12 in 2024, while Team Europe is led by Marco Mazzieri, former Team Italy manager and current president of the WBSC coaches commission.

The event, organized by the WBSC and the Japanese professional league (NPB), will take place for the first time at the home of the Orix Buffaloes after the Tokyo Dome hosted the first series, which ended with a victory for each side in 2015 (4-3 for Japan in game 1, 6-2 for Team Europe in game 2).

Team Europe changes leadership compared to the previous time, with Marco Mazzieri taking the helm after having been bench coach under Steve Janssen In this edition, the Tuscan coach will be the head of an international and experienced staff. Sidney De Jong (current manager of the Netherlands U23) will be the bench coach of the expedition, while Steve Janssen (manager of Germany at the last European Championships and former coach in the Cubs franchise) and Pavel Chadim, who showcased his Czech Republic team in Japan at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, will be the respective third and first base coaches .

Team Europe coaching staff also includes Italian pitching coach and former pitcher of the first edition of Global Baseball Games, Alessandro Maestri, who threw three innings in the first game of the last series. Fresh from his experience as a coach at the Pittsburgh Pirates Dominican Academy, Maestri will hold an international role as a coach for the first time after his long and prosperous professional career, which also saw him as an ace for the Orix Buffaloes from 2012 to 2015.

Completing the staff lineup will be Evert Jan t'Hoen, as infield coach, the Iberian Aritz Garcia as bullpen coach and Luis Camargo, a Brazilian of Italian descent with a history in the Italian championship and currently manager of the Diving Ducks in Austria, who will be involved as a batting practice pitcher and bullpen catcher; Italians Gianni Natale and Massimo Baldi will be athletic trainer and physiotherapist respectively.

As we patiently await to learn who will be named to the 2024 Global Baseball Games roster, it should be noted that seven Italians played for Team Europe during the 2015 edition. Those included Alessandro Maestri, Alessandro Vaglio, Juan Carlos Infante, Stefano Desimoni, Jose Escalona and Mario Chiarini. The Team Europe roster, which will be made up of 28 players, will be announced on February 14th. Forza #Europa!  

by Kevin Senatore and Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Team Europe celebrating  a home run during Game 2 of the 2015 Global Baseball Games)