2013 World Baseball Classic World Cup Championship Ring
The 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was an international professional baseball competition, held from March 2, to March 19, 2013. This was the third iteration of the WBC, following the two previous tournaments, held in 2006 and 2009.
Unlike the two previous WBCs, which consisted of the same sixteen countries, only the twelve countries that won at least one game in the 2009 WBC were guaranteed a berth in the main tournament. The automatic qualifiers were Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United States, and Venezuela. Four qualification brackets were held in late 2012 and respectively won by Canada, Taiwan, Spain, and Brazil, who joined the WBC as the final four teams (the latter two making their Classic debuts).
As in the 2006 tournament, the first round had a round-robin format, which led to South Korea being eliminated on a run difference tiebreaker. Venezuela also failed to advance out of a tough group. The fourth-place teams in each group – Brazil, Australia, Spain, and Mexico – will have to participate in the qualifying round in order to return for the 2017 tournament.
The second round was a modified double-elimination format, as in the 2009 tournament, where the modification was that the final game of each bracket was winner-take-all, even if won by the team emerging from the loser's bracket, although that game only affected seeding as two teams advanced from each bracket. The Netherlands improved on its surprising 2009 run by advancing to the semifinal game, as did two-time defending champion Japan. In the final game, the Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico to become the first WBC champion from the Western Hemisphere, as well as the first team to complete the WBC with an undefeated record. Robinson Canó was named the Most Valuable Player of the Classic.