Adrian Gonzalez, a five-time All-Star first baseman who last played in 2018, wants to play for Mexico in baseball’s Olympic return in Tokyo next summer.
“I’m not trying to come back to MLB, but I do want to play one last tournament in my career which would be the Olympics for Team Mexico,” Gonzalez said on Los Angeles’ ABC affiliate on Tuesday. “That’s something that I can put on that bucket list. And not a lot of people in baseball will ever have that experience.”
Gonzalez, who was born in San Diego and lived in Tijuana growing up, played for Mexico in all four World Baseball Classics dating to 2006. The plan, which he previously mentioned in April, is to play in a Mexican league next year ahead of a potential Olympic selection.
Mexico qualified for an Olympic baseball tournament for the first time last November by beating the U.S. at a global qualifier. Mexico joined Japan, Israel and South Korea in the Olympic field. The U.S. has up to two more chances to qualify.
Baseball returns to the Games for the first time since it was voted off the Olympic program following the 2008 Beijing Games. Baseball will not be on the Paris 2024 program but could return again for Los Angeles 2028.
Gonzalez joins fellow All-Stars Adam Jones (U.S.), Ian Kinsler (Israel) and Jose Bautista (Dominican Republic) in expressing interest in Olympic baseball.
None are currently on MLB rosters, which is key as it’s believed that MLB players will not participate in the Olympics, per the policy in baseball’s previous Olympic medal sport stint from 1992 through 2008.
It’s believed that two players with prior MLB All-Star experience competed at the Olympics for any nation — Australian catcher Dave Nilsson and Canadian pitcher Jason Dickson.
Many players competed at the Olympics before making an MLB All-Star team, including Stephen Strasburg and Jason Giambi.
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