Nearly every major national amateur baseball organization in America is united as a USA Baseball National Member. As a result, USA Baseball governs more than 12 million amateur players in ballparks and playgrounds across the country.
USA Baseball is responsible for promoting and developing the game of baseball on the grassroots level, both nationally and internationally. As the commissioner's office for amateur baseball, USA Baseball is a resource center for its various membership groups, fans, and players.
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC (PROFESSIONAL)
Since 1998, USA Baseball has been selecting teams of professional-level minor league players to represent the United States in various international competitions. In 2006, USA Baseball selected its first team comprised of Major League Baseball players. The team featured such stars as Chase Utley, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, and it represented the United States in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
OLYMPIC GAMES (PROFESSIONAL)
The USA Baseball Olympic Team last competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and captured the gold medal with a historic, 4-0 shutout over the two-time defending Olympic champion, Cuba. Team USA was managed by Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda and brought home the USA's first gold medal in baseball since the sport was granted official Olympic medal status in 1992. Team USA consisted of professional-level players for the first time ever. For its accomplishment, the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team was named the 2000 Team of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Past members of the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team include Barry Larkin, Will Clark, Jim Abbott, Nomar Garciaparra, Ben Sheets, and Roy Oswalt.
NATIONAL TEAM (COLLEGIATE)
The USA Baseball National Team consists of the top collegiate baseball players in the country. The team competes each summer in a schedule of exhibition games across the U.S. and overseas against the world's top baseball talent. As part of this schedule, the U.S. squares off against the Japan Collegiate All-Stars nearly every summer, and faces off in international friendship series against the likes of Canada, Chinese Taipei, and the Netherlands. Each summer schedule also features a prominent international tournament for the age group, which include the Pan American Games and the FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championships.
Players who have worn the red, white, and blue for the National Team and have gone onto Major League Baseball success include such notables as Mark Prior, Jason Varitek, Todd Helton, Troy Glaus, Tino Martinez, Jason Jennings, Bobby Crosby, Ryan Howard, Huston Street, Troy Tulowitzki, and Alex Gordon.
18U NATIONAL TEAM
Comprised of the nation's top players ages 17-18, the USA Baseball 18U National Team is a perennial power on the international baseball scene. The team competes in two major events in bi-yearly cycles - the COPABE Junior Pan Am Championship and the IBAF World AAA Junior Championship, and the 18U National Team is a gold-medal favorite in both events each time it takes the field.
Each year, USA Baseball and its National Member Organizations who are competing in the event invite the top high school-aged players in America to the Tournament of Stars presented by Major League Baseball, an all-star tournament featuring top 18U players in the country. The event is used as the selection vehicle for the 18U National Team, wherein players vie for one of the squad’s 18 roster spots.
Current major leaguers Alex Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, Shawn Green, and Ryan Klesko, as well as 2000 Olympic Gold Medalists Brent Abernathy and Brad Wilkerson, have all worn the USA jersey as 18U players.
16U NATIONAL TEAM
It too an international powerhouse, the 16U National Team has proven to be the country to beat on the global baseball scene since USA Baseball began selecting and training players in the 16U age category in the summer of 1997. Since then, the program has medaled each time it has taken the field in such international events as the IBAF World AA Youth Championships.
A staple on the 16U baseball community’s calendar, USA Baseball’s 16U Championships helps the organization identify players for the National Team. The event is held in two regions – East (Florida) and West (Arizona) – and 72 teams compete in each region. USA Baseball representatives and scouts select the top players from each region and from there the National Team is chosen.
14U NATIONAL TEAM
USA Baseball fielded its first-ever 14U National Team in 2007, and the team was an immediate success, going undefeated in winning the gold medal at the COPABE Pan Am 'A' Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Later that year the U.S. sent its second 14U National Team to compete in the COPABE Pan Am ‘A’ Championship, where it too took home the gold.
Members of the USA Baseball 14U National Team are selected exclusively from the pool of players participating in USA Baseball National Team Identification Series, two identification events featuring a total of 216 players to be held over Labor Day Weekend. The west coast event will be held at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., and the East Coast event will held at the Roger Dean Stadium Complex in Jupiter, Fla.
WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
The USA Baseball Women's National Team was established in 2004 when USA Baseball began selecting and training an official National Team for women. An 18-player team was chosen following open tryouts across the nation, and the squad went on to capture the gold medal in the first-ever IBAF Women's Baseball World Cup in Edmonton, Canada. The team then repeated in 2006 when the event was held in Taipei, Taiwan.
When not competing in the World Cup, the Women’s National Team competes in international friendship series, leads youth clinics and works to grow the game of baseball among women in the U.S.