Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story wasn’t going to let the opportunity to suit up in the 2023 World Baseball Classic pass him by.
Story was one of the first players to commit to playing for Team USA — Mike Trout is the only other player listed on the team’s roster and his availability seems in question due to his injury history — and he is thrilled to finally get a shot to play for his country.
“It’s something I wanted to do for a long time,” Story told NESN’s Jahmai Webster on Tuesday, as seen on the network’s pregame coverage. “It means a lot to me representing my nation and I’m really looking forward to it. So, happy to join right away. Something that I’ve watched over the years.”
The 29-year-old Story will look to help Team USA retain their WBC title, as the United States won the tournament the last time it was held in 2017. Team USA kicks things off with pool play beginning in the middle of March at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The timing of the event comes right before the start of the Major League Baseball regular season, which will help break up the monotony of spring training for those who play. And Story doesn’t expect anyone representing their country in the tournament, which has been around only since 2006, to take it lightly at all.
“It’s something that everyone takes very seriously and everyone wants to be the champ, represent their country in a championship way,” Story said. “I think you see it from the passion of the players. Early in spring training, the intensity is high, atmosphere is really, really high and that’s why we want to play. We want to represent our country the right way and I’m looking forward to doing that.”
Well before playing in the WBC, Story will look to aid the Red Sox over the second half of the season. Story will first need to get back on the field to help out, as he’s currently on the injured list due to a right hand contusion suffered before the All-Star break.
The Red Sox will take on the Cleveland Guardians without Story on Wednesday at Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN 360.