In the 1870‘s, Japanese baseball began, but at that time, baseball players played wearing kimonos and bare feet. Nowadays, most American baseball enthusiasts know Japanese top level players, such as Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Matsui, and Ichiro Suzuki because they have many accomplishments in the highest level baseball league MLB [Major League Baseball]. Many Japanese professional baseball players are trying to move to America, as a result by 2009 16 Japanese players belonged to MLB teams (48 players born in Japan). Although there are not many players from Japan playing in America, the ones playing have had a great impact on Japanese baseball.
Moreover, many of the Japanese MLB players have accomplished a lot with their teams. Many of them were star Japanese baseball players, and therefore have had a big effect on business because a lot of Japanese tourists travel to the U. S. to watch baseball games. In addition, some Japanese MLB players have very interesting styles, such as Hideo Nomo, and Ichiro Suzuki. These Japanese MLB player’s activities also affect other Asian countries, so some Korean and Chinese Taipei players transferred to MLB too. However, they have not only have a good impact, they also have a bad impact for Japanese people.
For example, many top level professional players transfered to MLB, so the Japanese professional baseball league level has gone down. In addition, some high-school and amateur baseball players go to MLB directly, so the Japanese professional league loses young talented players too. Therefore, the impact of Japanese MLB players is huge and affects many countries. History of Japanese Baseball Japanese baseball has a long history since it began in 1870. According to Gary, Engel, “Dr. Horace Wilson, an American professor teaching in Japan, introduced the Japanese to baseball in the 1870’s.
As a result, baseball first became popular at Japanese universities. ” During the 1920’s and early 1930’s, the Big Six University league became the most biggest baseball league in Japan. The Big Six University league is organized of the University of Tokyo, Waseda University, Keio University, Rikkyo University, Meiji University, and Hosei University. Moreover, during that time, some American Major League players visited Japan and held exhibition games with Japanese teams. A team consisting of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other future Hall of Famers played eighteen games in Japan”(qtd in, Gary Engel).
Many Japanese people started to become interested in baseball, and as a result Japanese Major League baseball began in 1936 through 1944 with six to eight teams. However, in 1945, the baseball league was stopped because of Second World War. Many talented baseball players went to War. In 1950, Japanese Major League baseball resumed and formed two leagues, the Central League and Pacific League. These two leagues make up NPB [Nippon Pro Baseball], and still remain today. Japanese Player’s Accomplishments in MLB The history of Japanese MLB players has included many challenges and achievements.
The first Japanese MLB baseball player was Masanori Murakami, who was a San Francisco Giants’s minor league pitcher for two years. In 1962, Murakami entered the Japanese Pacific League professional team, the Nankai Hawks. In 1964, Murakami joined the San Francisco Giants minor league team to develop his baseball skills with two young non-prospect players. At that time, “Both the NPB and MLB commissioners’ offices had signed off on the Nankai – San Francisco development deal, wherein the teams would agree to send players back and forth to train in the minors” (“Masanori Murakami”).
In the same year, August 31st, Murakami suddenly got a chance to play with the Giants MLB team. The next day, he pitched in NewYork against the NewYork Mets making the first moment a Japanese baseball player played in MLB. During this season, he pitched in nine games with one-win and one-saved game. In addition, his ERA was 1. 80 at that year. Therefore, “He quickly became a hero in San Francisco, especially with the Japanese community there” (“Masanori Murakami”). In 1965, he pitched forty-five games, and then went back to Japan.
Thus, he showed that Japanese professional pitcher’s can have high-level skills, but other Japanese baseball players did not pursue going to the MLB. After thirty years, one Japanese man challenged MLB, he was “The Tornado,” Hideo Nomo. After he moved to America, many Japanese players moved to America too. He became the second Japanese MLB player. In 1995, he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, was the NL Strikeout Leader, NL Shut out Leader, and NL All-Star. Moreover, his pitching form was different from others, it was like a tornado, so people called him “Tornado. ” Thus, he ecame a popular player in America too. He played in the MLB for twelve years, which is the longest time a Japanese player has played in MLB. In 2001, Ichiro Suzuki, who is first Japanese MLB field player, debuted in MLB. He plays for the Seattle Mariners and he achieved many records. Before he moved to America, Japanese postion players did not play in the MLB because a lot of people believed only Japanese pitchers could be top level players in MLB, and that position players did not have enough power. However, Ichiro changed that kind of stereotype because he showed that Japanese position player’s high-level skills.
He also received many titles in his rookie year, such as AL Rookie of the Year, AL All-Star, AL Hits Leader, AL Stolen Base Leader, AL Batting Average Leader, and AL M. V. P. Many Japanese baseball players became MLB players, but they did not just become MLB players, they also had great achievements too. On November 4th, 2009, Hideki Matsui, who is a New York Yankees outfielder, became the first Japanese-born player to win the World Series MVP. He lead the Yankees to the World Championship, he hit . 615 with three home runs, and eight RBI’s. In addition, in Game 6, he batted in six runs, which is a Series game RBI record (Ben Walker).
Therefore, Murakami, Nomo, Ichiro and Matsui’s activities affect a lot of Japanese baseball players, and many have started to have hope of going to America, and their activities will become a gateway of Japanese baseball players in America. Impact for Japanese People Japanese MLB players have a huge impact for Japanese because they give courage, hope and a challenging spirit, so they became the heroes of many Japanese. During the 1940‘s to 1980‘s, only a few Japanese baseball players challenged to be Major Leaguers, even Sadaharu Oh didn’t try MLB. In the U. S. here are some national heroes like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Whitey Ford. In Japan, they have players like Sadaharu Oh, who played as an infielder for the Yomiuri Giants. During his 22-year career, Sadaharu Oh hit a total of 868 home runs, surpassing Hank Aaron’s Major League record 755 home runs. According to Baseball Reference. com, forty-eight MLB players were born in Japan, a dramatic increase since 1995 because of the impact of Nomo. After Hideo Nomo moved to America, forty-five players joined the MLB because Nomo was successful, but it was also a hard decision for him.
Hideo Nomo was a pitching ace with the Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan and he pitched 13 years in the MLB. Hideo Nomo had a dream, which was to play baseball in the MLB, so he moved to MLB in exchange for his honor and money. At that time, he was wealthy because he earned $1. 5 million a year (Rob Rains, P33). Thus, many in MLB were impressed with his attitude. According to Rob Rains, Dodgers executive vice president Fred Claire told the Los Angeles Times, “Here’s a guy who had everything in Japan. He had fame, fortune, a good life. He gave it all up just so he could pitch against the best.
That impressed us. That impressed us a lot” (qtd in, Rob Rains P35). However, before he went to America, a lot of people felt the opposite because he was not a free-agent player. According to Robert Whiting, Nomo is “the first Japanese pro baseball player to defy the system, he was subjected to a brutal attack by Japanese media, which labeled him a ‘traitor,’ a man who did not understand the concept of wa, as well as condemnation from the powers-that-were in NPB” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P70). However, he understood the bad situation of going to America.
According to Rob Rains, “Nomo told the Los Angels Times, ‘I knew what the risks were. I knew everybody was watching. But I also knew that if I didn’t do this, I would spend the rest of my life regretting it. ’ ” (qtd in, Rob Rains P34). Thus, he was not about to give up his dream at that time. Some people in Japan didn’t like him going to the MLB, but that opinion was changed after he became a star player in the MLB. In 1996, he accomplished a no-hit, no-run game, and James Walsh stated, “In jubilant Japan, where all Nomo’s games are televised live, national dailies featured the hero on Page One.
A Yomiuri Shimbun headline trumpeted, ‘ANOTHER DREAM GAINED. ’ In an editorial, Mainichi Shimbun commented, ‘Words like ‘a record achievement’ or ‘a magnificent victory’ can’t fully express how we were moved” (qtd in, James Walsh). Moreover, he indicated the process of Japanese baseball players successful road to MLB, so when he retired his career, Japanese MLB players expressed appreciation for him. According to Ed Odenven, ” ‘I am so proud of all he did for Japanese players. ’ It would nly be appropriate for Ichiro Suzuki, Kosuke Fukudome and Kenji Johjima to publicly express their appreciation for Nomo in the days to come. Similar words should be spoken by So Taguchi, Hideki Matsui, Kazuo Matsui and other current or former Japanese players in the majors” (qtd in, Ed Odenven). Therefore, Nomo gave a big impact for Japanese in many aspects, including Japanese baseball, society, and people. Ichiro Suzuki is a 5’9”, 156-pound man from Japan, who is a MLB star player. In 2004, Ichiro Suzuki, who is the first Japanese MLB fielder, broke an amazing MLB record with 262 hits in a season.
Probably, twenty years ago, almost all people didn’t expect a Japanese baseball player would break the MLB record even though it is a small MLB record. However, Ichiro broke George Sisler’s 84-year-old record for most hits in a season (“Ichiro Suzuki”). Who expected a small Japanese guy would become a super star in MLB? According to Robert Whiting, “There had always been a special conceit in the land where baseball was born that a small man could not play in the major leagues. A small Japanese man, that is” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P25).
Before Ichiro went to America, some Japanese pitchers become top players in MLB, such as Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Hideki Irabu. They were endowed with a fine physique, but Ichiro was not. Moreover, Ichiro was the first position player from Japan, so many people had a negative opinion towards him. Thus, probably almost all concerned in MLB did not expect Ichiro’s play before they saw his performance. In Japan, his accomplishments have been one of the greatest moments because some Japanese people have an inferiority complex.
According to Robert Whiting, “His success was one of those great postwar moments for Japanese that inspired a sense of triumph – like the exploits of Rikidozan, a former sumo wrestler who popularized pro wrestling in Japan by defeating outsized American wrestlers in carefully orchestrated matches” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P42). Thus, he gave confidence to many Japanese. In addition, before he went to America, so many children wanted to be professional baseball players in Japan, but after he moved to America, it changed a little. According to Robert Whiting, “Kyojin-gun uniform is no longer every school boy’s dream.
The stars of the future are looking to follow in the footsteps of their heroes Nakata and Ichiro – to become soccer player in Europe or baseball stars in America” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P229). Thus, Ichiro’s activities affected children’s dreams too. Moreover, Ichiro’s accomplishments impact not only people, but also society too. Robert Whiting stated, “Another triumph was the conquering of the U. S. auto market in the 1980s. This inspired an enormous wave of self-congratulation, endless platitudes from political leaders in Tokyo and hundreds of books and TV documentaries about the end of U.
S. century and the rise of the Japanese one” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P42). Therefore, Ichiro has a big affect for Japanese people and society, which has been one of the greatest moments for Japanese. In 2002, Hideki Matsui was the home-run king in Japan. After he finished his season in the NPB, he decided to move to the MLB and his accomplishments have had a big impact on the Japanese people. Hideki Matsui won the M. V. P. in the World Series in 2009. This news had a big impact for Japanese and American people because this happening did not happen during the regular season.
Jim Armstrong stated, “Japan nearly came to a standstill as millions watched on TV while Hideki Matsui, the man they know as ‘Godzilla,’ stomped around New York to lead the Yankees to the World Series title” (qtd in, Jim Armstrong). Hence, so many people watched this series because of Matsui. Moreover, Masanori Murakami said, “Ichiro Suzuki has had many accomplishments, but they’ve all been in the regular season. As the first Japanese to win an MVP in the World Series, this is a great accomplishment for Matsui and will have a huge impact” (qtd in, Ben Walker).
According to Jim Armstrong, “‘All the news recently has been about Ichiro Suzuki,’ said office worker Hiroyuki Takeuchi, who took the morning off to watch the game. ‘But Matsui’s presence is huge. He overcame injuries and came through with the performance of a lifetime. As a Japanese, I’m very proud today’” (qtd in, Jim Armstrong). Moreover, he always focuses on the World Series, so he does not play in the World Baseball Classic because he is preparing for the start of the season with the Yankees. Thus, in Japan a lot of people have courage and are proud of Matsui.
Almost all Japanese MLB players were star players in Japan, but some Japanese MLB players were not star players in America. Many Japanese MLB players were successful, but some Japanese players failed in MLB, such as Kazuo Matsui, Kousuke Fukudome, and Kei Igawa. Thus, they got a high salary when they came to America, but they failed in MLB, so some MLB teams refuse to pick up Japanese players. On the other hand, some players succeeded in MLB, but they were not top level players in Japan, such as Hideki Okajima, Takashi Saito, and Shigetoshi Hasegawa.
They had cheap salary contracts because they were not top level players in Japan. However, their activities were great, so they changed the idea of Japanese veteran pitchers and not star players. Therefore, their actions and attitudes in the Major League proved that some Japanese players could play as well as or better than American players. Impact of Foreign Player for Japanese Baseball Many Japanese baseball players moved to America, but also many American baseball players moved to Japan and they had a big impact on Japanese people, such as Bobby Valentine and Randy Bass.
They had a big impact for Japanese because they contributed in the development of NPB and they showed the Major League style of baseball. Bobby Valentine is a former MLB player and manager. He was manager of the Texas Rangers, New York Mets, and Chiba Lotte Marines. In addition, he was the first person with MLB managing experience managing in Japan (Robert Whiting, P177). In 1995, he became manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in the Pacific League. According to Sheldon, “Valentine took the New York Mets to the playoffs twice and to the World Series in 2000, when he lost to the New York Yankees.
In Japan, Valentine had similar success and became an icon to tens of millions of Japanese baseball fans” (qtd in, Sheldon Ocker). Therefore, he became one of the most popular and greatest managers in Japan. However, he had some problems between Chiba Lotte. During his first Japanese team manager year, he had a conflict with Tatsuro Hiroka, who was the general manager of Lotte because of idea differences between Japanese baseball style and American baseball style. According to Robert Whiting, “Hiroka had arranged for the Marines to do their spring training in Peoria, Arizona. Valentine programmed an American style day, which meant 10:00 A.
M. to 1:30 P. M. on the practice field, allowing the players to spend the rest of their time at the golf course or swimming pool” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P178). This idea was difficult to understand for Hiroka’s handpicked coaches because usually Japanese baseball team’s spring training used the whole day, with a morning practice, afternoon practice, and evening practice, and then the players go back home (Robert Whiting, P178). Valentine said, “If you increase practice time, the players will get tired. When you get tired, you pick up bad habits. I don’t want to force them and I don’t want to wear them out before the season begins.
Sometimes more isn’t always better. They will round into form at their own pace” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P179-180). He also said, “In the U. S. , you all have a farm system of several tiers, from Triple-A on down. You have about 200 players under contract. By the time you get these players to the major leagues, they are already polished for the most part. But Japanese baseball is different. We have only one farm team, so we need extra time in camp to work on our various batting, throwing and fielding skills, not to mention team play” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P178).
These ideas differences created a bad relationship between Valentine and Hiroka, so he quit being Lotte’s manager after only a year, even though he had good results and was popular with a lot of people. Therefore, Bobby Valentine brought the ideas of baseball in the MLB to Japan, such as spring training, farm system, and American baseball ideas. Randy Bass was one of the greatest power-hitters in Japan. Many foreign baseball players came to the Japanese baseball league because most of them were not very active in MLB. Randy Bass was one of them, he played six seasons in MLB, but also he played ten years in the minor league (“Randy Bass”).
However, after he came to Japan, he became a star for the Hanshin Tigers. “He won two consecutive Japanese Central League Triple Crowns in 1985 and 1986 and was the MVP of the 1985 Japan series, Hanshin’s first trip to the Series in 21 years and the only time [as of 2005] that they have ever won it” (“Randy Bass”). Thus, he accomplished the “Japan dream. ” However, he also felt the idea gap between Japanese baseball and American baseball. In 1985, he hit 54 home runs in a season, he was one behind the Japanese season record of 55 home runs, which was held by Sadaharu Oh. However, he couldn’t ie or break the record because of Japanese player’s actions. According to Robert Whiting, “Bass, with a total of 54 home runs, was intentionally walked four times, the Giants catcher uttering an apology in English each time: ‘I’m sorry. ’” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P154). At that time, this happening became the hottest news in baseball because it was kind of a cultural problem. According to Robert Whiting, “In NPB, one still hears complaints about a “gaijin allegy” and the ideal of having so called “pure-blooded” Japanese baseball has often been expressed by the sports insiders” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P151).
On the other hand, when Ichiro Suzuki accomplished the new record, American pitchers were not avoiding him because the MLB has many players from different nations, and don’t have discrimination against foreigners. Kohichi Tabuchi, who was Japanese slugger, said, “Back then [i. e. , in the ‘80s] the game seemed like Japanese versus the U. S. But now, with Ichiro and Sasaki, people are watching a lot of American ball and have gained a real appreciation for it. There’s no prejudice anymore” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P157).
Therefore, NPB has some problems about foreign players like the Randy Bass problem, which refers to different baseball ideas between Japan and America. Impact for America Japanese MLB players have a huge impact on America too, it is not only for those concerned with baseball and fans, but also culture and business. Japanese MLB players have a different style of baseball, such as Nomo’s pitching style and Ichiro’s batting style. In 1995, Nomo had a big impact for American people because Nomo has a unique pitching form nicknamed “The Tornado. ” Thus, so many baseball fans were interested in him, which created “Nomo Mania. The term of “Nomo Mania,” was created by a sports columnist for The Times, Mike Downey. He said “I began Nomomania. There, I said it” (Mike Downey). He also stated, “I was so impressed that my entire first paragraph on the next day’s Times sports page read: “Nomomania! “Next thing I knew, it existed. ESPN: ‘Nomomania! ’ CNN: ‘Nomomania! ’ KABC: ‘Nomomania! ’ Radio chat-show hosts” (qtd in, Mike Downey). It was the beginning of the word “Nomo Mania. ” These results show Nomo created a sensational impact for America. Ed Odeven stated, “Nomomania was the buzz word and a key element of the weekly highlight shows in the
United States and Japan. It was something special to see the tall right-hander’s uncanny delivery and a 13-6 record that forced you to pay attention, forced you to hear his startling statements: Yes, I will excel in the big leagues. I will make a true impact” (qtd in, Ed Odeven). He has many fans, but those concerned with baseball like his attitude. Former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda said, “Hideo Nomo was a trailblazer, he represented himself and his country to the highest degree of class, dignity and character” (qtd in, Ed Odenven). Therefore, Nomo had a huge impact for American baseball fans, he was like a hero in MLB.
Ichiro Suzuki is also very popular with American people; in his first year in MLB, he became an American league All-Star member. According to Robert Whiting, “In the voting for the All-Star Game, held fortuitously enough in Seattle, Ichiro garnered 3,373,000 votes – an all-time record” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P29). Of course, the telecast of the 2001 All-Star Game was broadcast throughout Japan (Robert Whiting, P43). A lot of people have become a fan of Ichiro because his style is like a Japanese “Samurai. ” According to Robert Whiting, he stated, “Ichiro is the first cool Japanese I’ve ever met” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P25).
Moreover, he contributed to making the Mariners popular because many Japanese TV stations broadcast the Mariners’ games. According to Robert Whiting, “NHK, Japan’s quasi-national television network, which had opened up a permanent booth in the Safeco upper deck, was telecasting live all Seattle games – 182 of them including exhibition and playoff games – back to Japan” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P30). That is a huge number of airtime. Before Ichiro moved to America, only a few games were on air in Japan because pitchers cannot pitch every game, only position players can play everyday.
Japanese MLB players have a big impact for MLB business because many Japanese media have attended MLB games and many Japanese companies have became sponsors. Recently, Hideki Matsui became a free-agent, so his agency, Arn Tellem, is appealing to Matsui’s attraction, including his popularity in Japan, he said; Matsui’s immense popularity in Japan gives the Yanks strong financial incentive to re-sign him. He helps bring in millions of dollars annually in marketing and sponsorship revenue. In the seven years since he joined the Bronx Bombers, Matsui has played a pivotal role in establishing the Yankees as a global brand.
Six major Japanese companies — including Toyota, Sony and the Daily Yomiuri newspaper — have signed on as advertisers, each reportedly adding $1 million or so a year to team coffers (qtd in, Arn Tellem). Moreover, his contribution is not only for advertisement, he also contributed to broadcasting. Currently, NHK [Nippon Hoso Kyokai] airs 120 Yankees games a season (Arn Tellem). In addition, his goods are very popular for his fans. According to the article, “He set off a tsunami of Matsui Mania in April, with monster sales of No. 55 T-shirts and jerseys” (qtd in, “Hideki Matsui”).
Therefore, he contributed to the Yankees business, and he had a big impact for fans. Daisuke Matsuzaka was the M. V. P. of the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic and had a big impact about transfer fees. He entered into contract with the Red Sox, which was one of the largest contracts in Major League history. According to the article, “Bridging the economic gap in the most expensive cultural exchange in baseball history, the Red Sox reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday with Matsuzaka on a $52 million, six-year contract. With $103. 1 million on the table, the two sides flew back to Boston on Red Sox owner John Henry’s private plane” (“Matsuzaka, Red Sox reach agreement on six-year deal”). This shows that Japanese player’s position have dramatically improved than twenty years ago. Some Japanese MLB players have become stars in MLB, that impact affects cultural aspects too. Japanese MLB players bring their baseball style to MLB, but also they bring Japanese culture too. Bret Boone, who was Ichiro’s former teammate, had become addicted to bento [boxed lunch] that Ichiro’s wife made for him (Robert Whiting, P38).
Japanese MLB players’ teammates have started to become interested in Japanese culture because they want to know what are the roots of them. Its effects are not only for the teammates, the fans are also starting to show interest in Japanese culture. Robert Whiting stated, “Twenty years earlier, many Seatleites had not even known what sushi was. Now they were eating it at the ballpark and shouting ‘gambare,’ along with other demotic Japanese phrases of encouragement” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P38). Thus, some Japanese food became popular with Americans. Ichirolls” is the one of the most popular sushi item on the menu at the Mariners home stadium, Safeco Field. Ichiro feels Japanese MLB players accomplishments have created a better relationship between Japan and America. According Robert Whiting, “Asked once what he thought the significance of his accomplishments in the U. S. was, Ichiro replied simply, “I think I have narrowed the gap between America and Japan” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P38). Therefore, Japanese MLB players have a big impact for American baseball fans and players, but also have a big impact in business and Japanese culture too.
Bad Impact for Japanese Baseball Many Japanese top level baseball players transferred to MLB, that creates a bad impact for NPB because the Japanese professional baseball league level has gone down. During the 1940’s to 1980’s Japanese professional baseball players didn’t go to MLB because of public opinion. In 2002, Matsui was a free-agent and he was tormented with his decision. At that time, Sadaharu Oh said, “In my era, if I or Nagashima had said we wanted to go to the major leagues, 90 percent of the fans would have been against it. Now, it’s reversed 90 percent the other ways” (qtd in, Robert Whiting, P239).
Oh and Nagashima were super stars and heroes of Japanese, so they couldn’t go to MLB even if they were free-agents. Therefore, public opinion is changing for baseball players. Baseball fans support going to MLB because the players give courage and hope to the Japanese people. However, these ideas created a new problem, such as “Tazawa Problem. ” According to the article, “Junichi Tazawa made history in 2008 when he opted to bypass the NPB draft and bargain with MLB teams to start his pro career overseas. ”(qtd in, “Junichi Tazawa”). In 2008, he was the most talented amateur pitcher in Japan, so many teams tried to get him.
However, he refused their invitations because he wanted to go the MLB. “He expressed interest in learning from Daisuke Matsuzaka while in the Red Sox chain” (qtd in, “Junichi Tazawa”). That is a serious problem for Japanese baseball because if many talented amateur pitchers go directly to MLB, it will create a negative downturn for the NPB, the level of players and talent will go down. In 2009, Yusei Kikuchi, who has a 96 mph fastball, had eight Major League teams courting him to go to MLB directly (Thomas Harding). These problems express many Japanese young baseball players want to go MLB, which is one of the bad impacts from
Japanese MLB players. Therefore, Japanese MLB players have not only a good impact, but also a bad impact too. Conclusion In conclusion, Japanese MLB players are one of the important parts of modern MLB history and they have huge impact for Japanese, Americans, and Asians. The Japanese MLB players influenced people, business, and societies; especially star players have big impact, such as Hideo Nomo and Ichiro. Almost all Japanese MLB players were star players in Japan, so they had honor in Japan. However, they felt like they accomplished something in MLB.
When Matsui received the World Series M. V. P. he expressed his excitement. According to Ben Walker, Hideki Matsui said, “I guess it’s hard to make a comparison. When I was in Japan, that was the ultimate goal. Being here, winning the World Series, becoming world champions, that’s what you strive for here” (qtd in, Ben Walker). Therefore, many Japanese baseball players want to go the MLB. When I was a Junior high school student, I recorded every Mariners’ game so that I could watch Ichiro and I read many books about Ichiro because I received confidence from his playing in the MLB.
At that time, our baseball team had many players who started to play baseball because of the impact of Japanese MLB players. They were longing to be Major Leaguers. Ichiro always said, “I’m not satisfied with the way I’m hitting, I’ve never been satisfied with it. To be satisfied is to stop searching” (qtd in, Rob Rains, P128). I think this is the most important idea for anything. Ichiro brings many ideas to our lives with his attitude, words, and activities. In addition, Japanese MLB players have become part of our lives because many people checked their baseball results on the sports news.
Therefore, Japanese MLB players impact is one of the biggest impact on Japan’s sports category. Works Cited Armstrong, Jim. “MVP Matsui makes fans in Japan proud. ” Japan Times (2009): n. pag. Web. 25 Nov 2009. . Arn, Tellem. “Hideki Matsui: An Ageless Talent. ” Huffington Post (2009): n. pag. Web. 10 Nov 2009. . Ben, Walker. “Hideki Matsui, MVP Of World Series, Becomes First Japanese-Born Most Valuable Player. ” Huffington Post (2009): n. pag. Web. 11 Nov 2009. . Ben, Walker. “Matsui Becomes 1st Japanese-Born World Series MVP. ” abc News (2009): n. pag. Web. 11 Nov 2009. . Brad, Lefton. Higher plane: in Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki’s world, ‘see the ball, hit the ball’ applies on so many levels. ” CBS Interactive Inc. (November 5, 2009): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . Ed, Odeven. “Now-retired Nomo made huge impact on baseball. ” Japan Times (2008): n. pag. Web. 20 Nov 2009. . Gary, Engel. “A Short History of Japanese Baseball . ” Professional Sports Authenticator (2009): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . “Hideo Nomo. ” Baseball-Reference. com (January 2009): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . “Ichiro Suzuki. ” Baseball-Reference. com (November 2009): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . “Masanori Murakami. ” Baseball-Reference. om (November 2007): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . “Matsuzaka, Red Sox reach agreement on six-year deal. ” ESPN. com (2007): n. pag. Web. 25 Nov 2009. . McGrath, John. “The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. , John McGrath column: Baseball deserves an international shrine – right here. ” News Tribune (Novem4/19/2009): 07/25/2008. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . Mike, Downey. “What IS Nomomania?. ” MLB. com (1995): n. pag. Web. 18 Nov 2009. . Lan, Browne. “Tazawa officially in fold for Red Sox. ” MLB. com (2008): n. pag. Web. 20 Nov 2009. . “Players by Place of Birth (Number of players). ” Baseball Reference. com (2009): n. pag. Web. 19 Nov 2009. “Sadaharu Oh. ” Baseball-Reference. com (2009): n. pag. Web. 10 Nov 2009. . Shea, John. “The fine art of communication is sometimes lost.. ” San Francisco Chronicle (Novem4/19/2009): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. . Thomas, Harding. “High schooler Kikuchi to remain in Japan. ” MLB. com (2009): n. pag. Web. 21 Nov 2009. . Rains, Rob. Baseball Samurais. St. Martin’s Paperbacks edition. New York: Associated Press, 2001. Print. Whiting , Robert L. The Samurai Way of Baseball. First Edition. New York: Warner Books, 2004. Print. “48 players born in Japan. ” Baseball-Reference. com (November 5, 2009): n. pag. Web. 1 Nov 2009. .