Dear USA Baseball Supporters,
As we close our 40th year as the national governing body for baseball in the United States, I would like to take a moment to personally thank you for your continued support of USA Baseball.
Thanks to you, USA Baseball had another successful year on the international stage in 2018. Our Collegiate National Team won all three of its international friendship series and our 12U, 15U and 18U national teams each brought home a gold medal, including our first-ever world championship at the 15-and-under age level.
Over the last five years, USA Baseball has won 16 gold medals, six world championships, five silver medals, and one bronze medal. This unprecedented dominant run of success could not have been possible without your support as a USA Baseball Shop customer, who, through your purchases, help support all of our national team programs.
This year also marked the first-year of implementing the USABat standard in the youth baseball landscape. USA Baseball is proud of the success in laying the foundation for the long-term integrity of our game during the inaugural year of this standard, reaching over two million youth baseball players in 2018. For a list of approved bats and the 2019 USABat Guide, visit USABat.com.
As we look ahead to 2019, we have announced some very exciting changes to some of our national team identification events. Our National Team Identification Series will now operate under a six-region infrastructure and introduces a 12-and-under age group to the program for the first time. We have also partnered with Major League Baseball to create the Prospect Development Pipeline League. This unique development opportunity will host 80 of the top 18-and-under players in the country and will now serve as the primary identification event for the 18U National Team, who will look to win a record fifth consecutive U-18 Baseball World Championship in 2019.
Additionally, 2019 will feature the first opportunity for USA Baseball to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We are excited to begin the qualification process and we invite you to follow along during the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s flagship Premier12™, which will take place from November 2-17. The top finisher from the Americas region will earn a spot in the six-team Olympic Baseball event in 2020.
With a tremendously successful 2018 behind us, we cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store. We hope you continue to support our national teams and initiatives, and cheer on our national teams during their international competitions.
Once again, on behalf of USA Baseball, I would like to sincerely thank you for your support year in and year out. We could not do what we do without fans like you!
Yours in baseball,
Paul V. Seiler