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Baseball on short list for 2020 Olympics

Baseball and softball are on the short list of additional sporting events being considered for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari announced Monday.

The WBSC was one of 26 international sports federations to submit bids to Tokyo 2020.

"This is a great day for our sport," Fraccari said in a statement. "Today baseball and softball -- and the millions of athletes and fans who call it their sport -- reached first base.

"And on behalf of WBSC and the entire baseball and softball world, I would like to thank Tokyo 2020 and its evaluation panel for this opportunity to move into phase two. Being considered for the Olympic Games is a tremendous honor for baseball and softball, and the possibility of our athletes playing for their countries on the Olympic stage is a shared point of hope and excitement within our sport."

The federations under consideration will make presentations to the Tokyo 2020 organizers in August, and the organization will have until the end of September to propose any new events to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC will make the final decision at its 129th session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.

The WBSC's previous bid to include baseball and softball at the 2020 and 2024 Olympics received the second-highest number of votes (behind wrestling) at the IOC session in Buenos Aires in 2013.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.