Fans of America's pastime will descend on Petco Park Sunday -- many of them waving the flags of other nations.
The five-day San Diego segment of the 2009 World Baseball Classic will begin Sunday afternoon with a matchup of Japan against Cuba, followed by Mexico vs. Korea in the evening.
Games will continue at the East Village ballpark through Thursday.
Among several Padres who lent their talents to the three-week competition are slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, playing for Team Mexico, and Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Jake Peavy, a member of the USA squad.
The second edition of the 16-team World Baseball Classic, which debuted in 2006, got under way March 5 and will wrap up March 23 with finals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.Japan claimed the championship title in the inaugural installment of the event, which concluded in downtown San Diego. Cuba took second- place honors, followed by South Korea and the Dominican Republic.