By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The World Baseball Softball Confederation Asia sector announced the schedule for the 2023 Asian Baseball Championship, which will be played from December 3-10 in Taiwan at the Taipei Dome, Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, and Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium.
Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium is home to the CTBC Brothers of the Chinese Professional Baseball League and will host games during group play. Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium is home to the Fubon Guardians of the CPBL and will host games during the placement round.
The Taipei Dome will host games in the Asian Baseball Championship from group play through the medal round on December 10. The Taipei Dome will also host the Super Round from December 8-9.
The Taipei Dome will host its first official game on December 3, when Chinese Taipei opens up as the home team against South Korea at 5 a.m. EST. The top three finishers at 2023 Asian Baseball Championship qualify for the U-23 World Cup in Shaoxing, China, at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Complex. The U-23 World Cup will be the first international World Baseball Softball Confederation event in China during 2024. The WBSC has yet to announce the dates for the U-23 World Cup.
According to Focus Taiwan CNA English News, ”Japanese baseball great Sadaharu Oh will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Taipei Dome prior to the start of the first game of the Asian Baseball Championship. WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, Chinese Taipei Baseball Association President Jeffrey Jr. Koo, and Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an will also be in attendance for the first official game at the Taipei Dome.”
The Taipei Dome opened on November 18 with a test baseball game being played at the venue. Planning and construction of the stadium took decades, largely due to construction delays stemming from legal wrangling between the Farglory Group, which owns the ballpark, and the Taipei city government.
The Chinese Taipei Asian Baseball Championship team played Chinese Taipei WBSC U-23 national team reserves on November 18 at the Taipei Dome, and the Chinese Taipei Asian Baseball Championship roster beat the Chinese Taipei U-23 national team reserves 6-3.
Sheng-Ping Chen’s three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning of that game was the first homer hit at the Taipei Dome . Chen is currently in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system.
The dimensions of the Taipei Dome are 400 feet to center field and the left field and right field lines are 335 feet. The seating capacity for baseball at the Taipei Dome is 40,071.
Eight nations participating in the Asian Baseball Championship are part of the WBSC Asia sector, with Group A including No. 4 South Korea, No. 5 Chinese Taipei, No. 37 Hong Kong, and No. 55 Palestine. Group B includes No. 1 Japan, No. 32 Philippines, No. 43 Thailand, and No. 49 Pakistan.
Pakistan and Palestine played in the Asian Baseball Cup Western Division championship game in Islamabad, Pakistan, on February 1 where Pakistan won the gold medal over Palestine 11-3.
The Philippines, Hong Kong, and Thailand played in the Asian Baseball Cup Eastern Division event in late April and early May in Bangkok. The Phillipines beat Hong Kong in the gold medal game 10-2 on May 4. Thailand won the bronze medal, beating Singapore 13-0 in seven innings on May 4.
South Korea won the gold medal at the 19th Asian Games, beating Chinese Taipei 2-0 in October at Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Culture Center in Hangzhou, China.
Japan has won two international senior events this year, winning the 2023 World Baseball Classic, beating the United States 3-2 in the championship game in Miami at loanDepot Park, and the Asian Professional Baseball Championship U-24 event, beating South Korea in the championship game 4-3 in 10 innings.
Japan also won the bronze at the 19th Asian Games in early October, and beat China 4-3 at Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Culture Center in Hangzhou, China.
The Philippines, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Palestine, and Thailand will have players that have played in other international age group events and regional events in the past on their roster.
Japan, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei will have prospect players that are in their lower minor leagues of their professional leagues and independent leagues for the Asian Baseball Championship.
The Asian Baseball Championship will be the last international senior event on the 2023 international baseball calendar prior to the next World Baseball Rankings release on Dec. 31, 2023.
The World Baseball Rankings that will be released on Dec. 31, 2023, will determine the top 12 teams to play in the WBSC Premier 12 tournament from Nov. 10-24, 2024, after the regular seasons in Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, the Korean Baseball Organization, Liga Mexicana de Béisbol and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan.
The WBSC Asia website and social media pages will have streaming information for the Asian Baseball Championship prior to the first game on December 3.
2023 Asian Baseball Championship Schedule
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023
5 a.m. EST – South Korea vs. Chinese Taipei – Taipei Dome – Group A
11:30 p.m. EST – Thailand vs. Philippines – Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium – Group B
11:30 p.m. EST – Palestine vs. Hong Kong – Taipei Dome- Group A
Monday, Dec. 4, 2023
5:30 a.m. EST – Pakistan vs. Japan – Taipei Dome – Group B
11:30 p.m. EST – Pakistan vs. Philippines – Taipei Dome – Group B
11:30 p.m. EST – Hong Kong vs. South Korea – Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium – Group A
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023
5:30 a.m. EST – Japan vs. Thailand Taipei Dome – Group B
5:30 a.m. EST – Chinese Taipei vs. Palestine – Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium – Group A
11:30 p.m. EST – Thailand vs. Pakistan – Taipei Dome – Group B
11:30 p.m. EST – Palestine vs. South Korea – Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium – Group A
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023
5:30 a.m. EST – Philippines vs. Japan – Taipei Dome – Group B
5:30 a.m. EST – Hong Kong vs. Chinese Taipei – Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium – Group A
Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023
11:30 p.m. EST – Group A4 vs. Group B4 – Placement Round – Xinzhuang Stadium
11:30 p.m. EST – Group A2 vs. Group B2 – Super Round – Taipei Dome
Friday, Dec. 8, 2023
5:30 a.m. EST – Group A3 vs. Group B3 – Placement Round – Xinzhuang Stadium
5:30 a.m. EST – Group A1 vs. Group B1 – Super Round – Taipei Dome
11:30 p.m EST – Group A4 vs. Group B3 – Placement Round – Xinzhuang Stadium
11:30 p.m EST – Group A2 vs. Group B1 – Super Round – Taipei Dome
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023
5:30 a.m. EST – Group B4 vs. Group A3 – Placement Round – Xinzhuang Stadium
5:30 a.m. EST – Group B2 vs. Group A1 – Super Round – Taipei Dome
11:30 p.m EST – Super Round 4th Place vs. Super Round 3rd Place – Bronze Medal Game – Taipei Dome
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023
5:30 a.m. EDT – Super Round 2nd Place vs. Super Round 1st Place – Gold Medal Game – Taipei Dome