January 18, 2013

Boggs says roster spot is an honor

Mitchell Boggs has been selected to what he considers baseball’s World Cup.

The Dalton native and St. Louis Cardinals reliever is on the 27-player U.S. roster for the third World Baseball Classic, an international tournament created by Major League Baseball and the International Baseball Federation. This year’s 16-team competition is scheduled for March 2-19, with pool play around the world preceding the finals in San Francisco.

Rosters for the event were announced Thursday. This is the first time Boggs, a 2002 Dalton High graduate who went on to the University of Georgia, has made the team. In an interview with the The Daily Citizen, he repeatedly called it an “honor” to join the elite group of U.S. professional baseball players who will represent their country.

“When you look at the roster that has been put together — some of the names, not only for the USA but others who are competing in it — there’s tons of incredible players,” Boggs said. “It’s just another opportunity to be a part of something extremely special.”

Japan has won the event in its two previous editions in 2006 and 2009. The best finish for the United States was in the most recent WBC, when it was fourth.

“I just look forward to being part of hopefully the first USA team to win this thing,” Boggs said. “This is the third time they’ve done it, and it seems to get bigger and bigger every time they do it. It seems to be modeled after the World Cup to get as many countries involved as possible.”

Without baseball in the Summer Olympics, this is the biggest international event for the sport.

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