Guess what, folks? If a proposal passes next month, baseball and softball will be back in the Olympics, at least occasionally. The proposal, called Agenda 2020, is meant to try and solve some of the big problems facing the IOC, such as the fact that the increasing cost of hosting has made many global cities scared of hosting. For example, the 2022 Winter Games have had all but two candidates more-or-less drop out of the running because of local backlash. And the two candidates that are left are Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, who don’t have to care about public opinion and which are hardly the dropped-out winter wonderlands of Oslo or Stockholm that basically everybody outside of Kazakh and Chinese politicians would prefer.
The agenda includes, for example, allowing joint bids or at least allowing for certain events to be held elsewhere, perhaps even in other countries. But the big thing for baseball and softball in this is this part of the proposal, according to Reuters:
Sports will also not wait seven years from approval to their Olympic first appearance, and instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximize the Games’ reach and attraction.
In essence, it would allow sports to be added to the Olympics on a temporary basis if it would allow the Olympics to be more desirable in the host country. Now, presumably the sports added on temporary basis still would have to be pretty popular internationally (don’t go expecting to see NFL players marching in the opening ceremonies the next time the Olympics come to the USA, for example), but baseball and softball definitely fit the bill, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee has been heavily calling for them in 2020. So… expect baseball in the 2020 Olympics, and probably anytime in the future where the Olympics are in America, Japan, Korea, etc.