Despite the disappointment of its first elimination from World Baseball Classic play, Japan still staged a commendable display of sportsmanship on Sunday night. Moments after Puerto Rico's 3-1 victory over Japan was complete, the two-time defending champs assembled along the third-base line at AT&T Park. First they saluted the crowd, which was heavily in favor of Japan all night long. Then they turned and offered a salute to Puerto Rico's players, who were busy celebrating its first-ever berth in the World Baseball Classic final.
Though you could see the loss was already weighing on the Japanese team in both their faces and gestures, it was still a friendly moment befitting an international competition that aims to bridge countries and cultures, nine innings of diplomacy at a time.
Watch it below:
- Sports & Recreation
- Puerto Rico
- World Baseball Classic