Sadaharu Oh, who managed Japan to victory in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Japan kicks off its 2013 tournament, organizers announced Thursday.
Oh, now the chairman of the Softbank Hawks, who will host Pool A at Fukuoka Dome, will take the mound before two-time champion Japan takes on WBC debutant Brazil on March 2. Cuba, who lost the 2006 final, and China are the other two teams in Pool A.
Taiwan, South Korea, the Netherlands and Australia, in Pool B, are also scheduled to start on March 2 in Taichung, Taiwan. The remaining two first-round pools are set to start on March 7 in San Juan and Phoenix, Arizona.