Three defining memories from Olympic baseball 

To celebrate the return of the sport at Tokyo 2020, a look back at key baseball moments from previous Olympic Games.

Baseball is back and is destined to be one of the most eagerly followed sports at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Despite being played at St. Louis in 1904 and subsequent Games in an demonstration or demomodified capacity, baseball did not become an Olympic sport until Barcelona 1992.

It was dropped from the programme after Beijing 2008, but in 2016 the International Olympic Committee confirmed that baseball would be back in place for Tokyo 2020.

With the return of baseball in Japan, where six nations will slug it out for the coveted gold medal, here are three defining moments from Olympic baseball history.

Barcelona 1992: Cuba in command

Cuba were the hot favourites ahead of the Games in the Catalan capital with big-hitting Orestes Kindelan their star player.

The three-time gold medallist "El Canon de Dos Rios" is still regarded today as one of the finest batters of all time to emerge from the island.

An impressive 11-1 demolition of Chinese Taipei in the final game saw Cuba make history and claim the first official Olympic baseball gold.

Sydney 2000: USA secure coveted gold

Managed by Tommy Lasorda who had previously guided the LA Dodgers to two World Series wins in 1981 and 1988, the USA finally claimed gold in Australia.

Reigning champions Cuba reached the final again but pitcher Ben Sheets denied them a hat-trick of Olympic titles.

Sheets produced a dominant performance from the mound, giving up just three hits in nine innings to shut out the islanders in a 4-0 USA victory.

Beijing 2008: South Korea shock Cuba

For the fifth consecutive Games, Cuba reached the gold medal game and were strong favourites to clinch a fourth Olympic title.

But the underdogs from South Korea had other ideas.

The Asian side beat Cuba as they qualified from the round robin phase with a perfect 7-0 record.

And after beating old rivals Japan in the semis, the Koreans scored a 3-2 win over the champions from Athens 2004 for a shock triumph.

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