David Peralta: World Baseball Classic Was ‘Unbelievable Experience’

The 2023 World Baseball Classic wrapped up on Tuesday with Team Japan defeating Team USA in the championship game. For Japan, it represented their third title in the tournament’s history while no other team has won more than once.

The latest installment of the WBC drew nearly universal praise from fans and broke records for viewership, attendance, social media interactions and sales.

Several players also expressed how much they enjoyed the tournament, and David Peralta was among the Los Angeles Dodgers who raved about it.

The veteran outfielder calling it one of the best experiences he has been a part of and equated it to making an All-Star Game, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“It was an unbelievable experience,” said Peralta, the Dodgers outfielder who helped Team Venezuela reach the quarterfinals before losing to Team USA on Trea Turner’s eighth-inning grand slam on Saturday.

“I’ve never been a part of this event. It was my first time – and totally worth it. I was having the time of my life. I was telling my teammates, ‘I’ve never been a part of an All-Star team. It’s always been my goal. Never got the opportunity.’ But for me, that was it. That was my All-Star team. I was playing with teammates who were superstars, playing against other teams with superstars. The atmosphere in Miami, it was crazy. I’m loud – and I couldn’t hear myself. So that’s how loud it was.”

The 35-year-old hit .357 in the WBC with four RBI, two doubles and a .971 on-base plus slugging percentage across 14 at-bats for Team Venezuela.

Although Venezuela was ultimately defeated by the United States in the quarterfinals, they were undefeated with a 4-0 record up to that point, which included upsets of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Peralta was one of six Dodgers to play in the single-elimination final rounds, along with Mookie Betts and Will Smith (USA), Austin Barnes and Julio Urías (Mexico), and Liam Doolan (Australia).

Among the rest of the Dodgers who participated, Freddie Freeman (Canada), Trayce Thompson (Great Britain), Adam Kolarek (Israel) and Jose Ramos (Panama) did not advance out of Pool play.

The next World Baseball Classic will be held in 2026.

No Dodgers named to 2023 All-World Baseball Classic Team

At the conclusion of the World Baseball Classic, nine hitters and three pitchers were honored for their performances throughout the tournament, but no Dodgers were selected for the honor.

The All-World Baseball Classic team selections went to Salvador Perez (catcher, Venezuela), Yu Chang (first base, Chinese Taipei), Javier Báez (second base, Puerto Rico), Yoán Moncada (third, Cuba), Trea Turner (shortstop, USA), Randy Arozarena (outfield, Mexico), Mike Trout (outfield, USA) and Masataka Yoshida (outfield, Japan).

For the pitchers, Miguel Romero (Cuba) and Patrick Sandoval (Mexico) took two of the three honors.

Shohei Ohtani was selected as the honoree for the final pitcher spot, along with the designated hitter position. The two-way superstar also was named 2023 World Baseball Classic MVP.

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