President Fraccari on Premier12, current and future Global Baseball

President Fraccari on Premier12, current and future Global Baseball
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari talks about the 2019 Premier12, the present and future of international baseball and the importance of the Olympic Games.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari was invited up to the commentators box during the broadcast of Game 2 of the Premier12 taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico between the Dominican Republic and the United States.

"After the successful inaugural edition, the event grew exponentially and it is hosted across four locations and two continents" the President explained. "Premier12 is this year's most important international baseball event. We have increased the prize money by 40%, attendance and TV coverage has increased and Mexico, Taiwan, Korea and Japan are great partners and fully engaged to deliver a world-class event."

President Fraccari explained that with the Premier12 now being played on the American continent (Japan and Chinese Taipei were the hosts of the inaugural edition in 2015), it is truly a global event. "Mexico is one of the historic traditional baseball countries. Furthermore, it is also experiencing a new wave of development and interest across all levels of society. The WBSC is now developing a strong relationship with Mexico and we might actually bring up to four international events in 2020."

Along with the best 12 national teams and players from leagues from the major baseball countries, the Premier12 will also showcase different baseball cultures through the Mexican, Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese fans. "It is certainly a distance between the countries but for sure it is worth the travel. Fans from different cultures all bring something unique to our sport and our events, the atmosphere can be thrilling."

In his closing remarks President Fraccari emphasised the importance of baseball softball's Olympic status for the global development of the sport. "Keeping the sport in the Olympic Programme is key for our national federations. At the national level a lot of funds and opportunities in general are conditioned by having its own sport included in the Olympics. To this we must add also the possibility of accessing the resources available through the different Olympic Solidarity programmes. But the main goal is to globalise baseball worldwide and modernise our sport. It is also very important to grow youth participation in baseball because they consume the sport in a different way".