Baseball and softball have a long history in the United States, but their history in the Olympics hasn’t been that long. In fact, the two team sports came to a halt in 2005 when they were voted out of the Olympics after having only been a part of the Olympics games for a few years.
Softball in the Olympics
Softball was officially introduced as a women’s only sport in the summer Olympics in 1996. The decision to add the sport to the summer Olympic games came after the International Olympic Committee on Women and Sports met in 1995. The committee’s chair, Anita DeFranz, was a vital part of helping get softball added to the Olympic program.
Although very little is recorded about the initial history of Olympic baseball, it was part of the historic games much longer than softball has. The game first appeared in the St. Louis Olympic games in 1904 and again in 1912 in Stockholm. The U.S. played against Sweden and won 13 to 3. Baseball made an appearance again in the 1924 Summer Olympics played in Paris with the American team beating the French team 5 to 0 in an exhibition game that was only four innings long. Exhibition games were also played in Berlin in 1936 with an estimated 100,000 spectators. In 1952 in Helsinki a modified version of the sport, Finnish baseball was played by two Finnish teams. In 1956 Australia played one exhibition game against the U.S. and Japan played the U.S. in Tokyo in 1964.
Until 1984, baseball in the Olympics had been labeled an exhibition event by the IOC. After the game in Tokyo, the game took a 20-year hiatus from the Olympic games but returned in the 1988 Seoul games as a demonstration sport. Japan fell to the U.S. in the game. In 1992, baseball was deemed an official Olympic sport with the familiar eight-team tournament. Players were required to be amateurs and the tournament was played round-robin style.
The End of Baseball and Softball in the Olympics
In a meeting on July 7, 2005, the IOC voted softball and baseball out of the 2012 Summer Olympic games to be held in London, United Kingdom. They were the first sports to be voted out of the Olympics since polo was eliminated from the Olympic games in 1936. The elimination of baseball and softball excised 16 teams and over 200 athletes from the 2012 Olympic games. The two remaining spots left available by the elimination of baseball and softball were filled with rugby and golf.
The decision to keep baseball and softball out of the games was reaffirmed in 2006 when IOC head, Jacques Rogge cited several criteria for baseball and softball to earn their way back into the games. He said that the sports needed to be more universal and have a large following. He said the sports would have to have the best players and be in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Baseball and Softball Making a Comeback
In April 2011, the International Softball Federation and the IBAF announced that they were preparing a proposal to bring both sports back to the Olympic games as soon as 2020. They said they would not be rushing into a proposal, but they were working to come up with a proposal that they hoped would result in Olympic inclusion.
On September 8, 2013, the IOC announced that they would reinstate wrestling rather than add baseball and softball back to the program. A second bid for baseball and softball to be included as an event came by the Tokyo Organizing Committee on June 22, 2015. On August 3, 2016, the IOC approved the Tokyo Organizing Committee’s request to include baseball and softball in the Olympic games in the summer of 2020, as well as sports climbing, surfing, skateboarding, and karate.
Olympics and Sports Socks
With baseball and softball soon to make a comeback in the Olympic games, now is the time to start preparing for their comeback. MadSportsStuff has a variety of crazy sports socks and has partnered with TCK to create world-class baseball stirrups and softball stirrups in a variety of colors and designs. TCK is the leader in the manufacturing of MLB high-quality baseball stirrups.
Baseball stirrups and softball stirrups can be made for boys or girls, men or women in a variety of stripe patterns. You can also have custom stirrups made bring your own design to life. Baseball and softball are as American as fireworks in July and apple pie, and the fan base is still growing. They are sports that are enjoyed by all ages and athletes from all walks of life.
The apparel needs of these athletes and fans vary too. Just like other athletes, there are a variety of needs specific to the sports and baseball stirrups and softball stirrups are one of those needs for this particular sport. Our custom baseball stirrups and personalized softball stirrups offer a traditional look while allowing a team or fan to customize them to fit their own specific needs.
MadSportsStuff has an easy to use online ordering system so it’s never been easier to get customized sports apparel for your team. You can specify the length, size, team colors, and quantity to outfit your team with high-quality custom baseball or softball stirrups.
What to Expect in the 2020 Olympic Games
With baseball and softball returning to the Olympics in the 2020 Tokyo games many wonder what to expect. While professional athletes will be allowed to participate, it’s not likely that the MLB will put their league in hiatus during the middle of the summer season. The United States roster will likely be made up of minor league players instead.
Japan, however, is anticipated to stop their professional baseball schedule and sent their best players to the games. South Korea is expected to do the same. South Korea took the gold medal in 2008, the last year that baseball was played in the Olympics.
Softball, on the other hand, expects most of the gold medals to go to the U.S. The United States took home three of the four gold medals that have been awarded in the sport with only one gold medal going to Japan in 2008.
Prepare Now for Baseball and Softball
Baseball and softball are played almost year-round in many places and continue to grow in popularity. This means that summer isn’t the only season to be planning and preparing for your upcoming season. Especially with baseball and softball making a return to the Olympic games soon, now is the perfect time to start thinking about the needs of your team.
MadSportsStuff is committed to providing outstanding customer service and has an expansive inventory of high-quality custom sports socks including custom baseball stirrups and custom softball stirrups. All of our baseball stirrups and softball stirrups are made to withstand the harshest conditions and are made with love right here in the U.S. So, what are you waiting for? Order your baseball stirrups and softball stirrups today.