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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Baseball Dream Teams

ATLANTA () -- International baseball officials are envisioning "dream team" matchups in the Olympics -- perhaps as soon as four years from now.


At a ceremony Thursday to unveil the Olympic baseball schedule for 1996, most of the talk centered on the "dream team" concept that has propelled a worldwide basketball boon and induced the National Hockey League to shut down for two weeks in 1998 so the best hockey players can compete for gold.


Officials know if a similar agreement can't be worked out with the U.S. major leagues, as well as professional leagues in Latin America and the Far East, baseball might be facing extinction as an Olympic sport.


Eight teams will compete in Atlanta: the United States, Cuba, Nicaragua, Japan, Korea, Australia, the Netherlands and Italy.


Without the dream team format, only four of the 32 sessions at 47,000-seat Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium sold out in the initial round of ticket sales.