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5 of Baseball's Most Dramatic Upsets


4
2009 World Baseball Classic, The Netherlands over Dominican Republic
Willy Taveras of The Dominican Republic is tagged out trying to steal third base by Yurendell DeCaster of The Netherlands during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Willy Taveras of The Dominican Republic is tagged out trying to steal third base by Yurendell DeCaster of The Netherlands during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Al Bello/Getty Images

Although it fields the best baseball team in Europe, the Netherlands is not typically known as a baseball powerhouse. Like most of Europe, soccer (futbol) is the most popular sport in the Netherlands, and ice skating is also very popular -- but not baseball? Not so much. Most baseball fans would probably be hard-pressed to name a single Dutch ballplayer. That's why it came as such a surprise when the Dutch national team shocked the Dominican Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

One game can easily be written off as a fluke, but the thing that makes Holland's victory over the Dominican Republic such a notable upset is that they pulled it off twice in a period of four days. With a roster composed entirely of Major Leaguers, the Dominicans were considered tournament favorites in 2009. After winning the first game of the best-of-three series 3-2, the Dominicans stormed back and took the second game handily, by a score of 9-0. After such a lopsided victory, it was widely assumed that the Dominican Republic would prevail in the third game, but the Dutch team had other ideas [source: Curry].

The third and final game of the series was a low scoring affair. After nine innings, the score was still tied at zero, but things finally got interesting in the 11th, when a fielding error by Dominican Republic first baseman Willy Aybar allowed a run to score, ending the game in dramatic fashion. Sure, the Dominicans can make the excuse that Alex Rodriguez -- one of the most talented and highest-paid athletes in the world -- was injured and unable to play, but the team was still stacked with Major League All Stars. The Dutch team, meanwhile, featured just two Major Leaguers [source: AP].