Sunday, September 17, 2023

Samurai Japan 2023 Women's Baseball World Cup Roster

The Women's Baseball World Cup was last played in 2018.  The next one was supposed to be played in Tijuana, Mexico in 2020 but was postponed a year due to COVID and ultimately canceled.  The newly rescheduled tournament is being handled a little differently than previously.  The 12 participating teams were split into two separate groups with completely separate group stages.  Group A consisted of the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea.  They played their stage last month in Thunder Bay, Ontario with the US, Canada and Mexico moving on.  Group B consisted of Japan, Taiwan, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba and France playing in Miyoshi, Japan.  That group wrapped up today with Japan going undefeated.  Taiwan and Venezuela also advanced.  The top three teams from each group will meet in the final tournament that will be played in Thunder Bay at some yet to be scheduled date in 2024.

Japan historically has dominated this tournament.  There have only been eight tournaments had Japan has won gold in the last six of them after winning silver in the first two.  I expect them to win next year as well.

I thought I'd do a quick post on the team's roster for the Group B portion of the tournament.  There are twenty players on the roster and I have cards for thirteen of them from when they played in the Japan Women's Baseball League (JWBL):

2017 AIAIO #D17-11-02

2015 AIAIO #A15-02-01

2018 Epoch JWBL #52

2018 Epoch JWBL #11

2015 AIAIO #F15-10-01

2015 AIAIO #R15-42-01

2010 BBM Real Venus #34

2016 AIAIO #F16-03-01

2016 Epoch JWBL #74

2018 Epoch JWBL #27

2017 AIAIO #D17-18-05

2018 Epoch JWBL #78

2016 Epoch JWBL #17

As far as I can tell, the autographs on Bandoh and Izumi's cards are authentic.

After the demise of the JWBL after 2020, at least three NPB teams have established women's teams - the Lions, the Tigers and the Giants.  The Lions and Tigers each contributed three players to the team (Ayaka Deguchi, Kae Iwami and Ayami Sato from the Lions; Mizuki Bandoh, Iori Miura and Erika Nakae fromt the Tigers) while the Giants contributed two (Kana Onodera and Miwa Tanaka).  Yuki Kawabata had retired as a professional player after the 2018 season so I was a little surprised to see her on the roster (although she's only 33).

Additionally I have cards for the team's manager Rise Nakashima and two of the three coaches.  Both Katsuhiko Kido and Hiroki Fukutome played in NPB.  Fukutome also coached in the JWBL so I'm showing a card of him from one of their sets.

2016 Epoch JWBL #41

1995 BBM #214

2018 Epoch JWBL #45

There were at least two players on other teams who had experience in the JWBL.  Australian infielder Shae Lillywhite played for South Dione in 2013 while Taiwanese infielder Hsieh Yu-ying played for Kyoto Flora in 2018.  I don't have any cards of Lillywhite but I have this card of Hsieh:

2018 Epoch JWBL #64


Jason Presley said...

I'm pleasantly surprised to see France fielded a team. I wouldn't have expected that many women in France would have been interested in baseball. Or are they mostly from French colonies? I'll have to look into that.

NPB Card Guy said...

According to Wikipedia the French men's team's been around for almost 100 years so I guess I'm not as surprised they're fielding a women's team. I suspect it's a niche sport in France, kind of like most other countries in Europe.

PATRY said...

Most of french baseball women are playing softball after 16 but baseball before. The team was so happy to come and to get this wonderful experience. My girl was there and so impress about welcoming in japan and this experience

NPB Card Guy said...

I'm glad she had a good experience. Hopefully she'll get a chance to play in future events!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes....