An American professor, Horace Wilson, introduced baseball to Japan in the late 1860s to early 1870s. Baseball first team came together when an engineering student, Hiroshi Hiraoka, returned to Japan from the United States. Hiroshi, an ardent Red Sox fan, quickly stitched together the Shinbashi Athletic Club. Pro baseball (Puro Yakyū) justated some time in the 1920s and the first professional baseball league started in 1934.
While the rules of Japanese baseball are essentially the same as American pro ball, there are differences. With a narrower strike zone, smaller, harder, tighter wound ball and smaller ballparks, Japanese baseball gives some advantages to the batters than in the U.S. In Japan, games can end in a tie.
Photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach