World Baseball Classic excites students


Photo by Matthew Stashower ’25

The New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves play a Spring Training game on Feb. 26 before players went off to the World Baseball Classic.

The World Baseball Classic returned in 2023 and provided much excitement to Baseball fans. The tournament also concluded in dramatic fashion with Japan’s two-way sensation Shohei Othani striking out his Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout to end the tournament. Trout and Othani are widely regarded as two of the best players in baseball.

Many Staples students also enjoyed the World Baseball Classic as it isn’t a month’s long commitment and therefore easy for students who have busy schedules to get hooked. 

“I believe I watched most of it,” Spencer Gottlieb ’25 said. “I watched all of the U.S. games, including the final.”

Attracting young fans has been a key point for Baseball in recent years, a sport whose average fan age is 57, according to Market Watch. The World Baseball Classic has been successful in that the final accumulated almost five million viewers, according to Awful Announcing, which was better than many MLB postseason games. 

Players competing in the World Baseball Classic don’t play for the money, as many aren’t in the Major Leagues or even play professionally in their home countries. They play because they want to see their country at the top of the baseball world

“The players enjoy it,” Jonny Costello ’25 said. “It’s truly an honor for players to play for your team and play for your country.”

Playing for the love of the game, like players do during the World Baseball Classic, is no different than what Staples athletes do on a daily basis, as they don’t get paid either. The only difference is that Staples athletes represent their school rather than their country. 

It’s truly an honor for players to play for your team and play for your country

— Jonny Costello ’25

The World Baseball Classic, which started in 2006, was last played in 2017 when the United States took home the championship. The tournament was scheduled to be played in 2021, but postponed to 2023 due to Covid. The tournament is slated to return again in 2026. Many Staples students especially enjoyed how the tournament ending

  “It was a great ending. It’s what the MLB needs to market,” Gottlieb said. “A star hitter and a star pitcher going against each other and it just so happens that they’re the two best players in the league.”