12/05/2005 3:00 PM ET
Leading stars of the game agree to play in World Baseball Classic
177 players announced at Winter Meetings, all 30 clubs represented
A total of 177 Major Leaguers already have agreed to participate in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, World Baseball Classic Inc. announced today. The list of players features the leading players in the game, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez.
The World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament sanctioned by the International BAseball Federation (IBAF), will feature players from around the world competing for their home countries and territories for the first time ever. The games will be played from March 3-20 at sites throughout the United States as well as Tokyo, Japan and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Attached is the list of players announced today and the countries and territories for which they have agreed to participate, if selected. The list does not include players agreeing to play for teams competing in the Round 1 Asia Pool (China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea). Those players will be announced at a later date.
Federations competing in the World Baseball Classic must submit preliminary player rosters by January 17, 2006. Additional players agreeing to participate will be announced as they are confirmed.
"This impressive list demonstrates that players share great enthusiasm and excitement for the World Baseball Classic," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "New and old fans throughout the world will have the opportunity to enjoy our great game and see many of baseball's best players competing in this historic event."
Don Fehr, Executive Director of the Players Association said, "This outpouring of support for the World Baseball Classic speaks on many levels. It reflects the players' interest in the expansion of the sport globally. It suggests the players are keen to compete against each other in this kind of tournament. And, perhaps most importantly, it virtually guarantees that the inaugural World Baseball Classic will be an exciting and entertaining event for fans around the world."