Japan Baseball

King sports in Japan

In Japan, football is also a sport that receives a lot of attention, admiration and is growing very quickly. However, football is not the most popular sport in Japan, but the most popular sport, the largest spectator watching here is baseball.

Professional baseball in Japan began in 1937. However, baseball was known in Japan more than half a century ago. By the 1870s, baseball was introduced to Japan by some American teachers and professors as a tool to show off the physical and intellectual strength of the players. In the first tournament, there was only one professional tournament and 8 teams competed in two seasons: spring and autumn. In 1950, the tournament was expanded to 14 participating teams and from here it was split into two separate leagues with a number of teams from the old one to the new one. After many years, some teams have changed their names compared to the original.
Seven of the 11 stadiums were built between 1988 and 1999. (The Giants and Fighters teams shared the Tokyo Dome). 6 of these are grass courts: running paths, throws covered with sandy soil; The rest is grass. A yard measures 309-320 feet along the lines, 340-350 feet to the right or left straightaway, 360-365 feet to the gaps, and 400 to the dead center. All yards have fences 13 feet high separating players and the audience.

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Until 2000, teams usually played 130 to 135 games a season. However, from the 2001 football season to the present, teams played 140 matches in a season. The matches will determine the winner or loser after 9 rounds (回). In each round, two teams will take turns fighting and defending: one team fights and one defending team. After the team has beaten 3 players out, the two teams will switch positions to continue. The first leg of each round is called the Omote (表), while the second leg is called Ura (裏 or ウ ラ). After 9 rounds, if the winner is not determined, the match will last until the winner. However, if after 15 rounds, the match is still not decided, the match will be counted as a Draw (Hikiwake: 引 き 分 け). Teams in the Central League and Pacific League do not play against each other except at the star matches (all-star games) and the Japan Championship match (Japan Series).

Each Central League and Pacific League season will select 28 best players to form 2 teams to play against each other. Of the 28 players in the Central League, the fans voted 11 players, the remaining 17 were chosen by the coaches. In the Pacific League, the fans are elected 12 players (one more DH player), the number of coaches voted. These star teams compete in 2 or 3 matches at the beginning of July in different fields to win. Each team player will be playing in several rounds of several matches. After each game season, about 200 experts will vote to select the 9 best players in 9 positions on each field of each match. Award for the title of “Best Nine Awards”.

In addition to awards such as the Golden Glove, the Best Player (MVP: Most Valuable Player), or the Rookie of the Year (Rookie of the Year) like the American professional award, the Japanese professional award also awarded. Sawamura Award for the best starting pitcher from the start of the game. This player must be the pitcher who takes the most rounds and has the most wins. However, this award will not be awarded if the best player is not selected. About 40% of the MVP awards are awarded to handball players. The MVP award is usually chosen from the players of the two winning teams and is often chosen from the Central League champion.