Japanese Baseball Essay

806 words - 4 pages

Baseball has homegrown roots here in America. Starting in 1839 it instantly became a phenomenon that still captures American hearts and attention spans today. The Japanese created their own league called the Nippon Professional Baseball in 1920. Though they borrowed the idea and sport, there are key differences in how the game is played on the tiny island nation. In true Japanese fashion, they took an idea making innovations and improvements to create something resembling the past but yet having differences to stand on its own.
The Nippon league and the Major League Baseball (MLB) possess similarities in regard to rules. Both countries along with countless other nations wear uniforms that all parallel one another. The physical game is still played on a baseball diamond within nine innings under the bright, powerful lights. It is still very much a business both here in America and in Japan. However, the Nippon league uses a smaller, tightly wound baseball harder than the American ball. The strike zone is narrower and farther away the batter. The playing field or margins are a lot smaller than American fields. Many Nippon league teams have fields that small dimensions would violate American standards. A team can only have a certain number of foreign players on a Japanese team. The Japanese teams play for ties versus the MLB who continue to play until there is a victor. The games have a time limit. No game can go longer than three hours and twenty minutes. Teams are named after the company that owns them instead of the city or area the team is located. For example the Seibu Lions are from Saitama but are named after the Seibu Department Stores. As for the actual game time, fans are constantly singing or cheering. Sitting in designated cheering sections each section sings their favorite teams fight song, even having drums or other instruments to alert the fans when they will sing again.
As for Japanese players they look up to American players. Out of any country baseball has the greatest popularity in America often being called America’s favorite pastime. Japanese scouts actively recruit American minor league players to come play for Japanese teams. It gives American players more experience and a shot to play for a major league organization. Often paid more than minor league players but less than major leaguers, American...

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