Category Archives: History

articles about Japanese baseball history

NPB news: June 26, 2022

I missed Saturday’s news post with so much to do at the day job, and Sunday was much the same, so I’m going to take a different tack today, and talk about an important anniversary, in what is being touted as the important 150th anniversary of baseball’s introduction to Japan, although it’s an anniversary Nippon Professional Baseball prefers you not know about.

It’s the kind of post I tend to reserve as paid content, but I suspect you’ll like it.

We also had games on Saturday and Sunday, when the Yakult Swallows and Yomiuri Giants completed a slug fest series. We also had a record for Japanese home run hitters, and some coronavirus news so let’s get to it.

Continue reading NPB news: June 26, 2022

The Ohtani Awards

Last year, we were treated, over and over, to all the things Shohei Ohtani did that no one had done in “The Majors” since Babe Ruth, which is true only if one considers Major League Baseball Inc. the sole brand of major league baseball.

I’m going to skip over the illogic of that for a moment, and bluntly assert that Japan’s best leagues, the Japan Baseball League (1936-1949) and its Central and Pacific leagues (since 1950), are major as well.

Starting from there, it’s high time we recognize more two-way major league stars from Japan, by selecting Shohei Ohtani Award winners from Japan’s past. Here they are, by decade a list of players who more than guys who were “good hitters for a pitcher” or position players “who could pitch a little.” These were players who were first-line players in the batter’s box, and on the mound, who could also field another position, and did so in the same season.

So here we go, decade by decade.

Continue reading The Ohtani Awards