Host City: Sydney, Australia
Date Started: September 17, 2000
Date Finished: September 27, 2000
Participants: 192 (192 men and 0 women) from 8 countries
Youngest Participant: Chris Snelling (18 years, 289 days)
Oldest Participant: Alan Phillips (44 years, 93 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 72 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 1 medal
The 2000 Olympic baseball tournament was held at the Blacktown Baseball Stadium at the Blacktown Olympic Centre in Blacktown, with the medal round games held at the Sydney Baseball Stadium in the Olympic Park in Sydney. The Blacktown Olympic Centre was built specifically for the baseball and softball tournaments of the 2000 Olympics. It was actually located in the Rooty Hill district of Blacktown, a suburb 42 km west of Sydney. Now known as Blacktown International Sportspark, it is still used for baseball and softball, but also for football (soccer) and Aussie Rules football. The Sydney venue was later renamed the Sydney Showground Stadium and is still used for baseball games, and rugby and Aussie Rules football matches.
The tournament consisted of eight teams who participated in a round-robin tournament, which advanced the top four teams to the semi-finals, where a single-elimination semi-final, final, and a bronze medal game determined the top four places. The eight teams were chosen as follows – Australia as the host nation; the top two teams from the 1999 Pan American Games (Cuba, United States); the top two teams from the 1999 European Championships (Italy, the Netherlands); the top two teams from the 1999 Asian Championships (Japan, Korea [South]); and South Africa, the 1999 All-Africa Games Champion, qualified by defeating Guam, the 1999 Oceanian Champion, in a play-off for the final spot.
Cuba had won the gold medal in 1992 and 1996, and came into Sydney with an 18-game Olympic winning streak. As the dominant international baseball nation since 1970 they were heavily favored, and they won their first three games to extend the streak to 21. However, they then lost to the Netherlands, 4-2, and in the final game, the United States won the gold medal, defeating Cuba 4-0.