Written by Jim Rednour   
Saturday, 31 October 2009

2010 Marks 20th Anniversary of World’s Children’s Baseball Fair
In addition to having the ability to hit home runs at a prolific rate that few professional baseball players can even dream of, global home run stars Sadaharu Oh and Hank Aaron share a lifelong love of baseball…and the desire to encourage young people everywhere to get in the game.

In 1989, the pair teamed up to help form The World Children's Baseball Fair - WCBF, a non-profit organization, founded along with Dr. Akiko Agishi. 

Recognizing that the sport of baseball promotes teamwork, good health, discipline and friendship, Mr. Oh and Mr. Aaron conceived the idea of the WCBF as a means of creating goodwill and fellowship among the children of the world. Today, countries from five continents participate in this annual global event!

On April 1, 2009, Sadaharu Oh showed off his famous raised foot batting style at a signing ceremony to formalize the agreement reached between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the World Children’s Baseball Foundation to hold the 20th World Children’s Baseball Fair in Tokyo. Governor Shintaro Ishihara joined Mr. Oh in the ceremony at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. A preliminary tournament was held in late July with teams from six countries and regions, including Canada and Taiwan, and then from July to August of next year the main tournament will be held with teams from 24 countries and regions.

Spokespersons and supporters have included: Joe DiMaggio, Duke Snider, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, Lou Brock, Luis Aparicio, Tommy John, Harmon Killebrew, Steve Garvey, Peter O'Malley, Rod Dedeaux, Tommy Lasorda, Mrs. Bart Giamatti, Bowie Kuhn, Tim Brosnan, Brooks Robinson, Mrs. Jackie Robinson, Mrs. Roberto Clemente, and many others.  Most of the supporters have been with WCBF since the first year and have provided ongoing support.

In the inaugural year 1990, the Summer Week Event was held in Los Angeles, based at the UCLA campus. The 1991 and 1992 events were held in Tokyo/Chiba City and Mito City respectively. The 1993 fourth annual Summer Week Event was hosted by the city of San Diego, California and Miyazaki City, Japan was the host city for 1994. The site of the 1995 Event Week was Gifu City, Japan and Morioka City, Japan was th host city for 1996. The city of Nagasaki, Japan hosted the 1997 WCBF Event, followed by Shizuoka in 1998 and Yokohama in 1999. The event returned to North America in 2000 - it was awarded to Canada for the first time - and was held in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  In 2001 the event was held in Kanazawa City, Japan; 2002 was in Tanabe and other cities in the Wakayama Prefecture, Japan; 2003 was in Yamaguchi and other cities, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan; 2004 was held in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, hosted in 2005, and Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan in 2006. The 2007 event week was held in Puerto Rico at various locations, and 2008 was in Nagoya and other cities in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. WCBF did not hold a WCBF Summer Event Week in 2009. The next WCBF Summer Week Event will be held in Tokyo in 2010, and will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of WCBF.

During the 2010 Summer Week Event, boys and girls 10 to 11 years old, will take part in Baseball Clinics run by the International Baseball Association (IBA) and participate in intercultural activities aimed at improving international understanding. The emphasis is on learning and having fun, not competition.

For details contact: 
WCBF - North America Headquarters
3127 Nichols Canyon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Tel: (323) 969-9410
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Kobayashi Bldg. 4-2-10
Kudan Minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 102-0074
Tel: 03-5212-4466
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