Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 13, 2008
Date Finished: August 23, 2008
Participants: 191 (191 men and 0 women) from 8 countries
Youngest Participant: Brett Lawrie (18 years, 208 days)
Oldest Participant: Rhéal Cormier (41 years, 113 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 72 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 3 countries with 1 medal
In July 2005, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to remove baseball, alongside softball, from the Olympic Program, which, after several appeals, was finally confirmed at an IOC Executive Board meeting in August 2009. Thus, this was to be the last Olympic baseball tournament, although baseball and softball have re-applied several times, and there is discussion that they may be admitted to the Olympic Program in 2020 at the Tokyo Olympics, where the sports are very popular. The 2008 baseball venue was the Wukesong Bangqiuchang, or the Wukesong Baseball Field, a temporary venue constructed at the Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center.
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 – China as the host nation; the top two teams from the 2006 Americas Qualifying Tournament (Cuba, United States); the Netherlands, the 2007 European Champion; Japan, the 2007 Asian Champion; and three teams from the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Canada, Korea [South], Chinese Taipei).
In an upset, Korea won the gold medal by winning all nine of its games, defeating favored Cuba twice, including in the final, 3-2. The United States won the bronze medal by defeating Japan, 8-4.