Difference Between The Balls Used In College And Professional Football Baseball in Japan

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Baseball in Japan

In recent years, the arrival of players such as Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui to the United States has awakened Americans to the sport’s popularity in Japan. But many Americans don’t know that Japan’s baseball history is just as long as that of the United States.

The exact date when baseball started in Japan is unknown, but it is attributed to American Professor Horace Wilson between 1867 and 1912. The Japanese became interested in Western baseball after seeing the psychological similarities between their original sports of baseball and sumo. martial arts.

In 1930, a team of famous American baseball players, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, visited Japan and played games against Japanese college players. Although the Americans won every game they played, the series helped spark interest in baseball throughout Japan. The first Japanese professional team was formed in 1934.

During World War II, as more men joined the military, baseball became detested and many baseball fields were turned into ammunition dumps or used to grow food crops. However, after Japan was defeated, the Allied generals who helped rebuild Japan turned to baseball to boost morale and build stronger ties with the West.

In the 1950s, the Japanese league took the form it still has today; Two leagues of six teams each. The introduction of television in 1955 brought baseball to a larger audience in Japan than in the United States.

There are some differences in the styles and rules of play between modern American and Japanese baseball. The ball used in Japanese baseball is smaller and lighter than the ball used in American baseball. Also, unlike American teams, Japanese teams are only allowed four foreign players, two position players and two pitchers per team.

Stylistically, Japanese coaches focus more on bunting, base running and fielding fundamentals while American baseball relies more on pitching talent and long ball hitting. Because of these differences, Japanese baseball games typically have closer and lower final scores than American baseball games.

In recent years, Japanese baseball teams have been hit hard by players defecting to American teams. The Japanese league and Major League Baseball have an agreement requiring payment of a fee by American teams wishing to recruit Japanese players, but the rules do not apply to free agents. Japanese people today are more likely to watch an American team on television than a Japanese team. Players like Ichiro Suzuki are extremely popular in Japan and are considered national heroes.

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