Baseball Timeline


1904 - Baseball matches are played during the Louisian Purchase Exhibition, that ended up shading the Olympics

1908 - The USA Negro League Stars play in the Cuban League

1912 - A team from the city of Västerås, central Sweden, plays a baseball game against the USA track and field team at the Olympics in Stockholm

1912 - The Netherlands establish the first Baseball Federation in Europe

1921 - Korea assembles a team to face a visiting All-Star from the United States

1924 - A team made of American players faced the Ranelagh Club of France during the Paris Olympics. The game didn't go beyond the third inning due to poor field conditions

1926 - Teams from Cuba and Mexico play the Central American and Caribbean Series


1930 - A former Major League Baseball Player named Leslie Mann partners with the Louisville Sullger company to form the United States Baseball Congress. The project is to bring baseball to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. The organizers prefer American Football and Lacrosse.

1934 - Media mogul Shoriki Matsutraro founds the Dai Nippon Tokyo Yakyu Kurabu, the first professional baseball club in Japan to face the visiting American All-Stars

1936 - The professional Japanese Baseball (JBL) League begins to operate in Japan

1936 - Leslie Mann takes two teams to the Berlin Olympics: the World Champions and the US Olympics. A crowd of 100,000, including Adolf Hitler himself, shows up for the demonstration game. Mann umpires the game

1936 - During the Berlin Games, the delegates of England, France, Canada, Hawaii and Cuba agree to Leslie Mann's idea of forming an International Baseball Federation

1937 - Hawaii, The Netherlands and France participate in a baseball tournament at the Paris World Exhibition

1938 - Canada's John Leslie writes the articles of partnership, Leslie Mann is elected the first President of the International Baseball Federation. The first members are USA, England, France, Canada, Hawaii, Cuba, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, China, Japan, Peru, Philippines, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany

1938 - Businessman and Philantropist John Moores invites Leslie Mann to form a USA team to play a series against the National Team of England, made of players from the professional National Baseball League

13-20 August 1938 - England defeats the USA 4 games to 1 in a series played in Liverpool, Hull, Rochdale, Halifax and Leeds. The series awards the John Moores Trophy and will eventually recognized as the first edition of the Amateur World Series, that will evolve into the IBAF World Cup

1939 - Leslie Mann and Jaime Mariné, the President of the Cuban Dirección de Deportes, organize in Cuba the second edition of the Amateur World Series. Cuba, Nicaragua and the United States participate.


1942 - The USA withdraw from the Amateur World Series. They won't be back for decades.

1944 - President Jorge Reyes, Mexico, changed the name of the International Baseball Federation into FIBA (Federación Internacional Béisbol Amateur)

1949 - The JBL evolves into the Pacific League and the Central League, that begin to operate jointly as Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) 

1949 - First Caribbean World Series involve teams from Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Panama and Venezuela

1951 - Baseball features on the programme of the inaugural Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina

1952 - Demonstration of the Finnish game of  pesäpallo at the Helsinki Games

1954 - The Philippines win the first Asian Championship

1954 - Italy wins the first ever European Championship

1956 - A USA team made of military personnel defeated Australia, 11-5, in a demonstration game at the Melbourne Olympics

1956 - FIBA President Carlos Zecca (Costa Rica) launches the Mundial Juvenil for players under the age of 18. It's the first ever youth international competition


1961 - The National Commission of American Baseball is founded

1964 - A United States team, assembled by University of Southern California head coach Rod Dedeaux, defeated Japan, 6-2, in a demonstration game at the Tokyo Olympics

1965 - The United States Baseball Federation (USBF) was founded to "foster and promote national and international baseball competition"

1969 - The USA return to the Amateur World Series and lose a dramatic final against Cuba

1970 - In Cartagena de las Indias, Colombia, Italy and The Netherlands become the first European countries to participate in the Amateur World Series. Canada also joins

1972 - Japan becomes the first Asian country to participate in the Amateur World Series. The tournament, held in Managua, Nicaragua, was named unofficially Baseball World Championship.

1972 - During the FIBA Congress in Nicaragua, Italy, Belgium and the USA lead a revolt against President Juan Isa of the Netherland Antilles

8 September 1973 - 27 countries leave the FIBA to form the Federación Mundial de Béisbol Amateur (FEMBA), an alternative world governing body of baseball. Dutch Fehring, USA, is elected the first President

1973 - FEMBA hosts in September the first-ever Intercontinental Cup in Italy and the FEMBA World Championship in Nicaragua in November. FIBA plays its Amateur World Series in Cuba in November

1974 - Carlos Garcia, Nicaragua, succeeds Dutch Fehring as the President of FEMBA

1976 - Mario Vazquez Raña, Mexico, the President of the Pan American Sports Organization, organizes a meeting to convince FEMBA and FIBA to merge. The new governing body was named Asociacición Internaciciónal de Béisbol Amateur (AINBA). Manuel Gonzalez Guerra, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member from Cuba, is elected the first President

1977 - AINBA organizes a Mundial Pre Juvenil, for players under the age of 12 in Mexico

1978 - AINBA is formally recognized by the IOC and officially renames the Amateur World Series Baseball World Championship. Italy earns hosting rights. The event leaves the Americas for the first time

1979 - The USFB President Robert Smith hosts an AINBA Extra Ordinary Congress in Los Angeles


1980 - Japan hosts the World Championship. Carlos Garcia, the future AINBA President, is arrested by the Sandinista police in his home country Nicaragua

1981 - Robert Smith becomes the AINBA acting President

1981 - Baseball is granted the status of Demonstration Sport at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games

1981 - Foundation of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO)

1981 - AINBA organizes the AAA World Cup, to become the U-18 World Cup. The first edition is won by Korea. The hosts USA finish second, Australia is third

1982 - At the World Championship in Seoul, Korea, AIMBA launches its Honours Programme

1984 - Japan beats the USA in the final of the demonstration tournament at the Los Angeles Olympic Games

1984 - Robert Smith is elected the AINBA President. He changes the name of the organization into International Baseball Association (IBA)

13 October 1986 - Baseball is admitted as a medal sport at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona

1988 - The USA win the final against Japan at the demonstration tournament of the Seoul Olympics

1989 - AINBA organizes the AA World Cup, to become U-16 World Cup. Japan wins the first edition on home soil. Chinese Taipei finishes second, China claims third place


1992 - Cuba wins gold at the Barcelona Olympics beating Chinese Taipei in the final. Japan earns a bronze medal

1993 - Aldo Notari, Italy, is elected the President of IBA

1993 - Baseball is featured for the first time at the Summer Universiad. Cuba wins, Korea finishes second, Canada is third

1994 - IBA Executive Director Miquel Ortin opens the office in Lausanne

1996 - Cuba wins gold at the Atlanta Olympics beating Japan oin the final. The USA claimed bronze

1998 - The IBA allows professional players for the World Championsip to be played in Italy. The tournament is unofficially named World Cup


2000 - The USA, led by legendary Tom Lasorda, won gold at the Sydney Olympics in the first Olympic Games that allowed professional baseball players to compete. Cuba finished second, Korea claimed a bronze medal

2001 - The world governing body changes its name once again and becomes the International Baseball Federation (IBAF)

2001 - The world championship played in Taiwan is officially named the IBAF World Cup

2002 - Cuba wins the first baseball University Championship in Messina, Italy. The USA finish second, Japan is third

2002 - During a press conference at the Intercontinental Cup in Havana, Cuba, IOC President Jacques Rogge announces the revision of the programme of the Olympic Games

2004 - Cuba beats Australia in the final of the Athens Olympics. Japan earned a bronze medal

2004 - The USA win the first-ever Women's World Cup in Canada. Japan finish second and Canada is third

7 July 2005 - IOC Session 117 in Singapore votes baseball out of the programme of the 2012 Olympics with 54 votes against 50

9 February 2006 - IOC Session 118 in Turin, Italy, rejects (46-42) the proposal of a revote for baseball

25 July 2006 - Aldo Notari dies in his hometown Parma, Italy. First Vice President Tom Peng, Chinese Taipei, become the IBAF acting President

2 March 2007 - Harvey Schiller, USA, succeeds Aldo Notari as the President of the IBAF

2008 - Korea beat Cuba in the final of the Beijing Olympics. The United States claimed bronze

March 2009 - The International Softball Federation (ISF) rejectes the IBAF proposal for a joint bid for reinstatement in the Olympic Programme

April 2009 - The IOC announces that only two sports will be proposed to the IOC Session for the programme of the 2016 Olympics

October 2009 - The IOC Session 121 in Copenhagen, Denmark, awarded to Rio de Janeiro the hosting rights of the 2016 Olympics, elected Jacques Rogge to his third term as IOC President and included golf and rugby 7 in the programme.

6 December 2009 - Riccardo Fraccari succeeds Harvey Schiller as the IBAF President


2011 - Chinese Taipei wins on home soil the first-ever U-12 Baseball World Cup. Cuba finishes second, Venezuela is third

2012 - The IBAF changes to U-15 the age bracket of the U-16 World Cup. The first edition is played in Mexico. Venezuela wins, Cuba finishes second and Chinese Taipei is third

December 2012 - 2011 Chinese Taipei wins on home soil the first-ever U-12 Baseball World Cup. Cuba finishes second, Venezuela is third

2012 - The IBAF Members unanimously (83 Federations participated to the voting) approve the proposal of a merger with the International Softball Federation (ISF) through a postal vote, opening the door for a new joint federations - the WBSC - to be launched in 2013.

2015 - The WBSC's signature event - the Premier12 - makes its debut.

2020 Year in Review

2019 Year in Review