The Curaçao team that recently played in the 2023 Caribbean Series is now officially recognized by the Major League Baseball (MLB) league in the United States. This means that ‘Team Curaçao’ can be seen in the Bio section of the MLB website, detailing all the native Curaçao players who played for the Curaçao national baseball team during this Series. You can see some examples here and here.
This is a remarkable feat considering the fact that the representatives of Curaçao played as guests in the Caribbean Series in Venezuela among the champions of professional baseball leagues from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia.
This great news came out last week, one week before the start of the World Baseball Classic (the baseball equivalent of the FIFA World Cup), which kicks off today for the first time in six years.
More countries are participating in the tournament this year than at any other time since it began in 2006. Only 16 countries were represented in the first four World Baseball Classics, but this year that number stands at 20 countries, among which the Netherlands. Team Netherlands has become a fixture at these tournaments, and that is thanks in large part to the Curaçaoan and Aruban professional baseball players who make up its roster.
This year is no different. The team will have the Aruban MLB star player, Xander Bogaerts, in the middle of their lineup, along with the major league talents of Curaçaoan native sons Jonathan Schoop, Jurickson Profar, Andrelton Simmons, Didi Gregorius, and Wladimir Balentien, who hit a record 60 home runs in Japan back in 2013. The Netherlands also has Curaçaoan MLB pitcher, Kenley Jansen, in its bullpen, who has become renowned as one of the MLB’s premier closing pitchers.
Curaçao will certainly be rooting for its players this tournament!