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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Japan All-Stars To Resume Playing MLB All-Stars

The Japan All-Star Series, featuring all-star teams from MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball, will resume this year. While the series, which started back in 1986, was never officially canceled, it has not been played since 2006.

Anyhow, Samurai Japan--the nickname for Japan baseball's national team--has named seven Japanese ballplayers (surnames first in all instances) to its 2014 All-Star team: 
  • Yomiuri Giants shortstop Sakamoto Hayato; 
  • Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles catcher Shima Motohiro;
  • Orix Buffaloes outfielder Itoi Yoshio; 
  • Orix pitcher Kaneko Chihiro;
  • Hiroshima Carp pitcher Maeda Kenta;
  • Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters outfielder Nakata Sho;
  • manager Kokubo Hiroki, a retired NPB player and 11-time NPB all-star.

(L-R) Sakamoto, Shima, Itoi, Kokubo, Kaneko, Maeda and Nakata.

The remainder of the squad will be named later.
The All-Star Series has not been played since 2006 when the World Baseball Classic started that yeat, with the Japan baseball players’ association deciding to skip the series.

The series will begin on November 12, 2014 at Osaka Dome and will be followed by three games at Tokyo Dome before wrapping up with games in Sapporo and Okinawa.

Andrew Joseph

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