This article 1878 En Baseball PDF a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Baseball was first introduced to Japan in 1872 and is currently among the country’s most popular participatory and spectator sports.
The first professional competitions emerged in the 1920s. Japan that many new Japanese fans are surprised to hear and learn that Americans also consider it their national sport. Baseball was first introduced to Japan as a school sport in 1872 by American Horace Wilson, an English professor at the Kaisei Academy in Tokyo. The contemporary Japanese language press lauded the team as national heroes and news of this match greatly contributed to the popularity of baseball as a school sport.
The Central League included the established teams, and the Pacific League was made up of new teams and players. The Pacific League uses the designated hitter style of play. The pro baseball season is eight months long, with games beginning in April. Corporations with interests outside baseball own most of the teams. Historically, teams have been identified with their owners, not where the team is based. The Nippon league uses a smaller baseball, strike zone, and playing field.
Five Nippon league teams have fields whose small dimensions would violate the American Official Baseball Rules. Also unlike MLB, game length is limited and tie games are allowed. However, the game roster has the same 25-player limit as MLB. Before each game, NPB teams must designate three players from the active roster who will not appear in that contest. Occasionally, a team with more total wins has been seeded below a team that had more ties and fewer losses and, therefore, had a better winning percentage. The winners of each league compete in the Japan Series. Hanshin Kōshien Stadium during the 1992 Kōshien tournament.
These nationwide tournaments enjoy widespread popularity, arguably equal to or greater than professional baseball. Qualifying tournaments are often televised locally and each game of the final stage at Kōshien is televised nationally on NHK. The tournaments have become a national tradition, and large numbers of students and parents travel from hometowns to cheer for their local team. Amateur baseball leagues exist all over Japan, with many teams sponsored by companies. Players on these teams are employed by their sponsoring companies and do not receive salaries as baseball players but as company employees. Japan has won the World Baseball Classic twice since the tournament was created.