Venezuela's players celebrate their 6-2 victory over Cuba at a Caribbean Series Baseball game in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Ricardo Arduengo
February 06, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) A first-ever European All-Star team will face top-ranked Japan in a two-game baseball series in Tokyo next month.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation says the series will be played March 10-11 at the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome.

WSBC president Riccardo Fraccari says, ''This is an unprecedented and historic event that signifies baseball's expansion into a totally new competition format.''

Steve Janssen, manager of European champion Netherlands, will be the head coach of Europe's team.

The series precedes the WSBC's new Premier 12 tournament in Japan and Taiwan in November, which will feature the world's top 12 ranked teams.

Baseball and softball are hoping to return to the Olympic program for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

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