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Team France Baseball: A History with a Bright Future!

As far as we've been able to trace, the first baseball match played by team France was in Paris, France, on June 24, 1928. Played against an elite American student team, the Américains de Paris, the match was lost 9 to 3.

A year later, in Barcelona, Spain, the first official baseball match for the French national team was played against the Spanish national baseball team. This occasion marked the first official international baseball match held in Europe, in which France defeated Spain 10 to 6.

On June 28, 1936, the French baseball team played its first official match on homeland, at the Pershing stadium. Facing off against Holland, France was defeated 9 to 6. However, this baseball match was a preamble to the 1937 Exposition tournament—the first large-scale international baseball competition organized in France. This tournament brought together players from France, The Netherlands and Belgium. France landed in 2nd place and defeated the "Orange", 5 to 4.

In 1955, Europe held the first official baseball competition, known as the European Championship, in which France came in 5th place. Team France then went on to participate in various European competitions, without succeeding to rank in the top of the European nations.

But in the 80's and 90's, team France gained new status. Progressing from competition to competition, the team moved from the last position at the 1983 European Championship in Florence to 3rd place at the 1999 European Championship in Parme—after after narrowly missing the podium on numerous occasions (4th place in 1991 and 1993, and 5th place in 1995). The 1999 3rd place ranking remains the best performance of team France Sénior.

This ascension to 3rd place was the fruit of rapid growth for French baseball, and was headed in 1992 by the former player/professional manager Yoshio Yoshida, star of the Nippon Professional Baseball with the Hanshin Tigers and All-Star member of Japanese baseball.

With Yoshida, team France gained momentum and competed against teams across the world (Merit Cup in Floride 1992, President Cup in South Africa 1993...). While victory was not always on the menu, this experience gradually brought the national team to the first European ranks.

While team France failed to reach the podium during the 2001 Europe Championship in 2001 (4th place) and later landed positions that placed the team in the middle of the board. At the latest Europe Championship in 2010, team France finished in 6th place.

Today, team France, and French baseball in general, is looking to the future. With the support of famous personalities such as Yoshio Yoshida or organizations such as the MLB and WBCI, team France hopes to demonstrate the quality of the training and the players—in the field. With a European Championship and the qualifications to the World Baseball Classic, 2012 promises to be exciting for French baseball!



 

HIGHLIGHTS



 

European Championship

Participations: 21 (1955, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1969, 197, 1973, 1975, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010)

Best result: 3rd (1999, Florence - Italy)

Last result: 6th (2010, Parme - Italy)

 

European B Championship

Participation 1 (1986, Paris - France)

Result: 2nd

 

World Cup


Participations: 3 (1994, 2001, 2003)

Best result: 15th (2001, Taïwan City - Taïwan)

Last result: 15th (2003, La Havane - Cuba)

 

Merit Cup

Participation: 1 (1992, Floride - USA)

Result: 5th



 

OTHER MAJOR COMPETITIONS

 



Olympic qualification tournament

Haarlem (The Netherlands), 2003: 5th



President Cup

South Africa, 1993: 5th

 

Intercontinental Cup

Participations: 3 (1991, 1993, 1997)

Best result: 7th (1997, Villadecans - Spain)

 

Northern World Cup

Participations: 2 (1977, 1982)

Best result 3rd (1982, Anvers - Belgium)

 


INDIVUDUAL PERFORMANCES IN OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS

 

 

    Nicolas Dubaut
  • best pitcher (European Championship 2007)
    Samuel Meurant
  • best ERA pitcher (European Championship 2005, World Cup 2001)
    Sébastien Hervé
  • highest number of base steals (European Championship 2005)
    Luc Piquet
  • 2nd base All-Star Team (European Championship 2005)
    Alain Gadoua
  • best pitcher (European Championship 2001)
    Robin Roy
  • best ERA pitcher (European Championship 1999)
    Jamel Boutagra
  • highest number of base steals (President Cup 1993), All-Star Team (European Championship 1995), 2nd best hitter (World Cup 2003)
    Arnaud Fau
  • MVP, best hitter and All-Star Team (Merit Cup 1992), All-Star Team (European Championship 1995)
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