The top 3 Japanese players to make it big in MLB

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Japan has produced 63 players who have appeared in America’s Major League Baseball. Pitcher Masanori Murakami was the first Japanese player to appear in the MLB playoffs in 1964. Since then, baseballers from Japan (also home to ボンズ カジノ)have shined in the league across many seasons. Here are the three most notable Japanese baseball players to feature in the MLB.

Ichiro Suzuki

Suzuki, a talented pitcher signed for the Seattle Mariners in 2000. He took the famous #51 jersey that Randy Johnson previously wore. Suzuki felt the pressure the jersey came with. Consequently, he wrote a letter to the legendary pitcher promising to step up to the task. He did not disappoint.

 

He became the second player to be named and receive the Rookie of the year award and Most Valuable Player in a single season. On top of that, he got death threats in the 2004 season when he was about to break the 84-year-old record of George Sisler. He went on to have the longest streak of 200-hit seasons in the majors. This included ten in a row.

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish became the first MLB pitcher to attain 1,500 career strikeouts in fewer than 200 games in 2021. He did so in his 197th appearance, nine fewer than the previous record-holder Randy Johnson. Yu is also the starting pitcher in the majors with the most strikeouts per nine innings. This is a massive achievement for a player who has been written off severally since joining the Texas Rangers from the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters a decade ago. He was also selected to join the All-Star games. He played for three seasons consecutively.

 

This star player later joined the Los Angeles Dodgers where he went on to join the World Series.

His performances in the Fall Classic, on the other hand, were abysmal, and he was blamed for his team’s 4-3 loss. Later, the Houston Astros were found guilty of using illegal technology to steal signs from opposing teams, lifting the blame off Darvish.  After that, the 35-year-old Iranian-Japanese pitcher signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs. He currently plays for the San Diego Padres and was recently named in his fifth All-Star game.

Hideki Matsui

Hideki Matsui had a ten-year experience with Yomiuri Giants when he got a parade in 2002 after signing the New York Yankees. He even had Japanese journalists following him to the US to cover his MLB debut season. His first season was impressive when Matsui hit the grand slam at Yankee Stadium. He was also the first player from Japan to hit a World Series home run.

He also received the MVP award after appearing in only three games in the World Series. Matsui hit three home runs and got eight runs when the Yankees defeated the defending champions Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series. After Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, he became the third player in World Series history to bat 500 and hit three home runs.