Goodwill Games

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The Goodwill Games were an international sports competition, created by Ted Turner in reaction to the political troubles surrounding the Olympic Games of the 1980s. The 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan caused the USA and other Western countries to boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, an act reciprocated when the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA.

Baseball was only contested in the 1990 Goodwill Games. The Cuban national team won easily. In the semifinals, Cuba won 16-2 over Team USA. The game was marred by controversy when Cuban CF Victor Mesa bunted with a 10-0 lead; the next time, Mesa was plunked by Darrin Paxton. Cuban manager Servio Borges said the mercy rule played a role in his decision but USA manager Jim Morris felt it was not in the spirit of the game. The Japanese national team won the Silver medal while the USA got Bronze.

Future major leaguers played for a few countries. Team Canada included Rob Butler. Japan had Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Shingo Takatsu. The US had several future major leaguers, perhaps most notably Aaron Sele and Paul Byrd.

See 1990 Goodwill Games (Rosters)

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