Stunning Opening Ceremony lifts the curtain on historic Baseball5 World Cup in El Zocalo

Stunning Opening Ceremony lifts the curtain on historic Baseball5 World Cup in El Zocalo
07/11/2022
“It is with great emotion and satisfaction that I welcome the participating teams to this first edition of the WBSC Baseball5 World Cup,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari as he addressed the Opening Ceremony.

The first ever Baseball5 World Cup was officially opened on Monday with a powerful introduction of the 12 participating teams followed by an impressive display of local talent with dancers, classical Mexican music bands before fireworks sent pyrotechnics and the 2,000 crowd celebrating into the cool Mexican City night sky.

“It is with great emotion and satisfaction that I welcome the participating teams to this first edition of the WBSC Baseball5 World Cup,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said as he addressed the audience during the Opening Ceremony before officially declaring the tournament open. “This competition marks a new milestone in the history of the World Baseball Softball Confederation and you athletes, who are here today, are the pioneers of this new great adventure, congratulations.

The WBSC launched Baseball5 in 2017 with a long-term vision to provide greater access to sport and to baseball and softball and Baseball5 fits the goal easily as an urban and mixed version of baseball and softball that became an official WBSC discipline in 2020.

“Five years after that pioneering launch and despite the pandemic, we can say that Baseball5 has far exceeded all our expectations,” President Fraccari added. “Baseball5 has spread globally and, thanks to its accessibility, has taken root in regions with little baseball tradition, such as Africa and the Middle East. Having Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia among the participating countries in this competition is proof of this, which fills us with satisfaction.”

Ana Guevara, the Sports Minister of Mexico, was also aware of the historic significance on the evening with Lithuania and Mexico becoming the first teams to play in a WBSC Baseball World Cup.

"Tonight is a historic moment, not just for this Zocalo, not just for Mexico but also for this new discipline that today writes a new page in what we see in the years to come and where we will have so much satisfaction," Guevara said. "I feel really proud of being the first host and Mexico has the privilege to welcome all this teams in this new dynamic discipline that will be the future of so many kids."

Secretary of Government of Mexico City, Marti Batres Guadarrama was equally full of praise for the WBSC and the relatively new sport of Baseball5.

"We call this city “Innovative City of Rights” but here, at this moment, we are exercising the right to sport, the right to recreation, the right to health and we salute this great world innovation that is Baseball 5," he said.

Prior to the Opening Ceremony a press conference was held with President Fraccari and Alfredo Lerma, the manager of the Mexico Baseball5 squad.

"The WBSC is proud to be able to stage this first ever Basebll5 World Cup in such an iconic location as the Zocalo here in Mexico City," President Fraccari said. "My thanks goes to Ana Guevara and CONADE for preparing a wonderful stage for this inaugural Basebll5 World Cup. Mexico has a strong baseball and softball tradition and now it’s the turn of Baseball5.

"This is an historic moment for our sport and we have 12 passionate teams, here to chase the dream of becoming the first WBSC Baseball5 World Champion. With 50 games over six days, we are guaranteed to have lots of great action and entertainment throughout the week."