Hold onto your caps, Japan - MLB (Major League Baseball) will have two of its teams open up the 2012 season in Japan.
And it gets better...
Two of baseballs best players - and former NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) stars - Suzuki Ichiro (surname first) and, if he's still on the team, Matsui Hideki (surname first) will start the MLB season playing before their countrymen as members of the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics, respectively.
The two teams will play a two-game series against each other on march 28 and March 29, 2012 at Tokyo Dome.
As well, these same two teams will play two yet-to-be scheduled exhibition games during the trip.
According to MLB's commissioner's office, Oakland and Seattle will leave their spring training homes in Arizona (also known affectionately as the Cactus League) on March 22, fly to Japan early to get rid of the jet lag and play exhibition games, play their two game series and then return to the USA on March 30.
The commissioner's office has said that the Oakland A's will be considered the Home team for both regular season games.
The 2012 series is the fourth such MLB season opening series to take place in Japan:
- New York Mets vs Chicago Cubs in 2000;
- New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2004;
- Boston Red Sox vs Oakland Athletics in 2008.