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Joe Torre to manage Team USA in 2013 World Baseball Classic

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced Thursday that Joe Torre has been named manager of Team USA for the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Currently Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, Torre will be making his debut in red, white and blue next March for the third installment of the WBC.  Dates and locations are to be announced, but first-ever qualifiers are set to be held in September and November of 2012 across four international venues.

Members of the media are encouraged to attend Torre’s Team USA introductory conference call, scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.  Media can dial (877) 560-2269 to join the call.

"I am honored to be selected to lead Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic,” Torre said.  “I have been fortunate to have many different experiences throughout my career, but being a part of Team USA will be a first, and I am very excited about it.  I look forward to the challenge of representing the United States when this tournament celebrates the global growth of our national pastime next year."

“We are thrilled to announce Joe Torre as the manager of the U.S. for the upcoming World Baseball Classic,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO.  “Joe’s track record as a manager speaks for itself, and we’re excited to have his leadership in place as we attempt to secure our first World Baseball Classic title.”

Torre, a nine-time All-Star who played in the Major Leagues from 1960-1977, was a .297 career hitter with 252 home runs and 1,185 RBI. He was the 1971 National League Most Valuable Player as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .363 with 230 hits, 24 home runs and 137 RBI. Torre served as a Major League manager for 29 seasons, leading the New York Mets (1977-1981), the Atlanta Braves (1982-1984), the Cardinals (1990-1995), the New York Yankees (1996-2007), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2010). His 2,326 wins as a manager rank fifth all-time. The Brooklyn, New York native guided the Yankees to four World Series Championships (1996, 1998-2000), six American League pennants and 12 postseason appearances, including 10 A.L. East titles, in his 12 years as manager. Torre then led the Dodgers to two consecutive N.L. West crowns in 2008 and 2009, which included two straight appearances in the National League Championship Series, before stepping away from the dugout following the 2010 season.

Following his three-year run with the Dodgers, in early 2011, Torre was hired by Major League Baseball in the capacity in which he currently serves.  He left briefly in January 2012 to explore opportunities with a group that participated in the bidding for the Dodgers, and then returned to his post at MLB in March.

The U.S. team has yet to place better than fourth in the WBC, finishing sixth in the inaugural event in 2006 and fourth overall in 2009.  The club was previously led by Buck Martinez and current Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson, respectively, and most recently featured a lineup of Major League Baseball All-Stars like Derek Jeter, David Wright, Dustin Pedroia, Curtis Granderson, and Evan Longoria.

Dates, venues and schedules for the 2013 World Baseball Classic are set to be released by Major League Baseball in the coming weeks.  Regional qualifiers will be held for the first time in 2012, and the winners of each qualifying pool will advance to compete next March.  The four venues that have been selected to host a qualifying pool are: Armin-Wolf-Baseball-Arena in Regensburg, Germany (Sept. 20-24); Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama (Nov. 14-18); XinZuang Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan (Nov. dates TBD); and Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. (Nov. dates TBD).  The top team from each pool will join the 12 other countries -- which includes the United States -- that have already advanced to the 2013 WBC based on performance in the 2009 tournament.

Torre and USA Baseball will round out the coaching staff and U.S. roster over the next several months. 

About the World Baseball Classic

The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories.  More than 1.5 million fans from all over the world have attended the tournament games, held in March 2006 and 2009.  The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be played in March 2013 and will again feature the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world.  The tournament will be held every four years thereafter.

About USA Baseball

USA Baseball is the national governing body for amateur baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).  The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, World Cup and Pan American teams (and all other USA Baseball professional teams); and the Collegiate, 18U, 15U, and Women’s National Teams, all of which participate in various domestic and international competitions each year.  USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country.  For more information, please visit USABaseball.com and GoldenSpikesAward.com.  

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