DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball named Joe Girardi the manager for its 2019 Premier12™ team the organization announced on Wednesday. A four-time World Series champion as both a manager and a player with the New York Yankees, as well as an alumnus of the 1985 Collegiate National Team, Girardi will look to lead Team USA to a berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Currently serving as an analyst for MLB Network, Girardi will make his international coaching debut for the U.S. in 2019.
Olympic qualifying will begin for Team USA with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) 2019 Premier12™ tournament from November 2-17. Team USA will open the tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, and will face the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands in the first round.
Members of the media are encouraged to attend Girardi’s introductory conference call, scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, August 8. Media can dial 1-800-683-3678 to join the call.
"It is truly an honor to be named the manager for the USA Baseball Premier12 Team," said Girardi. "I was fortunate to wear this very special jersey as a player on the national team in 1985 and it is a privilege to be chosen to wear it once again as a manager. I look forward to leading Team USA as we strive for a gold medal and look to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
"On behalf of USA Baseball, I am thrilled to welcome Joe Girardi as the manager of the 2019 Premier12 team," said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. "Our goal from the beginning was to identify the right candidate to lead Team USA as we began the qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and given Joe’s impressive managerial resume in the Major League ranks, as well as his experience playing on a USA Baseball national team, he became an obvious choice to fulfill this role. We are confident we have put this team in the best hands possible and we look forward to competing on the international stage in November."
Girardi served as a Major League manager for 11 seasons, leading the Florida Marlins (2006) and the New York Yankees (2008-18) to a cumulative record of 988-794 (.544). He was named the 2006 National League Manager of the Year in his debut season at the helm of the Marlins and was later named the 32nd manager in franchise history for the New York Yankees in 2008. During his time in the Bronx, Girardi led the Yankees to a 910-710 (.562) record, six postseason appearances, three American League East titles (2010, 2015, 2017), one American League pennant (2009) and a World Series championship in 2009. His 910 victories in New York is good for the sixth-most wins by a manager in franchise history, and Girardi is one of just nine managers ever to manage a team to at least 95 wins in four or more consecutive seasons.
Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 1986 June Amateur Draft out of Northwestern University, Girardi spent 15 years as a catcher in the Major Leagues for the Cubs (1989-92, 2000-02), Colorado Rockies (1993-95), Yankees (1996-99) and St. Louis Cardinals (2003). He won three World Series titles as a catcher with the Yankees in 1996, 1998 and 1999, and was named a National League All-Star in 2000. Girardi was also a member of the 1985 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, where he hit .310 with two doubles and two home runs in 25 games for the red, white and blue.
USA Baseball will announce the remaining members of the coaching staff for the 2019 team at a later date.
Team USA will open the 2019 WBSC Premier12™ against the Netherlands on Saturday, November 2, at 12 p.m. (CT) at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. will then face Mexico and the Dominican Republic on Sunday, November 3 (7 p.m. CT) and Monday, November 4 (7 p.m. CT), respectively.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the six-team Super Round in Japan, which will be hosted by Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) at Chiba’s ZOZO Marine Stadium and the Tokyo Dome.
The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will automatically qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, joining host-country Japan in the six-team Olympic tournament.
Team USA won a silver medal in the inaugural WBSC Premier12™ in 2015, finishing with a 5-3 overall record.
For more information on USA Baseball and the 2019 Premier12™ Team, follow @USABaseball on social media or visit USABaseball.com.
About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, Olympic, Premier12 and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. The organization is responsible for the continued proliferation and health of the sport, and leads a number of amateur initiatives including PLAYBALL and Pitch Smart. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit the organization's official websites: USABaseball.com, SportDev.org, PLAYBALL.org, PitchSmart.org, GoldenSpikesAward.com and USABaseballShop.com.
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