Masaichi Kaneda: The Emperor

Kaneda 400th Win

In Japan, during the 1950s and 1960s, Masaichi Kaneda, Shigeo Nagashima, Sadaharu Oh and Katsuya Nomura were the faces of professional baseball. Nagashima, a third baseman, and Oh, a first baseman, were power-hitting teammates for the Yankees of Japan, the Yomiuri Giants. Nomura was the home run-slugging catcher for the Nankai Hawks, and Masaichi Kaneda […]

Eiji Sawamura: The First Great Japanese Pitcher

1935_dai_nippon-620

I first heard the legend of Eiji Sawamura when I was in elementary school. My Japanese friends in our neighborhood, and their fathers and grandfathers, told me about how he had struck out Ruth, Gehrig, Gehringer and Foxx… in order. My father confirmed the story, and filled in the missing parts of the legend. It seemed hard […]

Yu Darvish: Dollars and Doubts

In 201, Yu Darvish became 1st NPB pitcher (since the start of the 2 league system) to pitch 5 straight seasons with an ERA under 2.

Everyone is now aware that the AL’s Texas Rangers won the bidding to negotiate with Yu Darvish for a mega-bucks contract. Yes, it appears that, barring a surprise, the Nippon Ham Fighters’ star pitcher will join the Rangers rotation for the foreseeable future. Total cost to the Rangers? In the neighborhood of $125 million. Of […]