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Wed, 01 Apr 2009

Jose Lopez Selected To International Baseball gAll Tournament Teamh

The 2009 International Baseball Tournament was a great success drawing 50% more attendees than the inaugural event three years ago. Four national teams (Japan, Korea, Venezuela and the USA) advanced to the semi-final matches held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Team Japan beat Korea 5 to 3 in extra innings to win back-to-back championships in front of a crowd of 54,846.

Jose Lopez (2B-Seattle), a long time SSK advisory member, performed superbly in helping Team Venezuela advance to a semi-final game with Korea. Lopez was selected to the All Tournament Team as the second baseman. Jose recorded an impressive batting average of .417 with 2 HRs, 6 doubles and amazing slugging average of .917. He also repeatedly made remarkable plays in the field. He used a dark red /tan SSK ball glove matching his team colors during the tournament instead of Seattlefs teal/navy colors. Lopez also wore custom-made SSK batting gloves, wristbands and foot guards and used SSKfs rock hard maple bat at the plate.

Bobby Abreu (OF-Angels) and Carlos Guillen (OF/DH-Tigers) were starters for Team Venezuela and also swung SSK bats.

The majority of Korean players – (gold medal winners at the 2008 Summer Games) used SSK bats made in Japan and advanced to the finals with defending champion, Japan.
Other notable teams included Cuba and the Netherlands. A large number of their players agreed to use SSK gear including bats, gloves and shin guards during this entire tournament.

Three Japanese players on SSKfs advisory staff list were on the Samurai Japan roster. Munenori Kawasaki (Inf-Softbank), Tetsuya Yamaguchi (LHP-Tokyo Giants), Kenta Kurihara (Inf-Hiroshima Toyo Carp) contributed mightily to Japanfs championship run.

We at SSK are very proud and pleased to be involved in this exciting tournament and wish to extend our heart-felt congratulations to Team Japan! The next International Baseball Tournament is already scheduled for 2013. The organizer expects that 24 national teams will participate in that tournament.

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