Japanese baseball players have started to have a major impact on the American game in recent years. This slide show represents the best Japanese players that major league baseball offers, plus the one player who made it all happen with Nomo-Mania.
Apologies to the numerous players that are not included in this show but should contribute greatly to their teams and the league in upcoming years.
The three-time Pacific League MVP has made his presence felt in the U.S.
Eighth straight season with 200+ hits
Eighth straight Gold Glove Awards
Eighth straight All Star appearance
3,000+ professional hits in his career
Former Sawamura Award winner and six-time Japanese all-star.
18 wins (fourth)
2.90 ERA (third)
201 K's (sixth)
Three-time Central League MVP and three-time Japanese Series winner "Godzilla" has become one of the Yankees best hitters when he is healthy.
Former Central League MVP award winner made an easy transition to the U.S with a rookie All-Star Game selection.
"Japanese Lightning" a six-time Central League Golden Glove winner at third base made the transition to second base and was a key contributor to a World Series team.
This former seven-time Best Nine winner and Nippon Professional Baseball MVP became the third player to hit his first career grand slam during the playoffs in 2007. Injuries took much of Matsui's 2008 season.
This former Best Nine Award winner and Golden Glove winner threw a one-hitter and had three complete-game shutouts as a rookie.
"Okaji" a starter, set-up man, and closer for the Yomiuri Giants and Nippon Ham Fighters quickly became a crucial set-up man for the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Former Pacific League MVP and seven-time Golden Glove winner became the first Japanese starting catcher in Major League Baseball and set the rookie catcher record for hits with 147.
Four-time Central League all-star was selected to the National League All-Star Game in 2007.
The player known as "Tornado" came to LA in 1995 and started Nomo-Mania won the Rookie of the Year and made the All-Star Game. Nomo's success in the U.S. started the major league raid of the Japanese major league system.
Paying some respect to the all-time home run king, Sadaharu Oh, and a list of the rest of the Japanese players in the U.S.
Masanori Murakami (the first), Tsuyoshi Shinjo, So Taguchi, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Hideki Irabu, Kazuhisa Ishii, Masao Kida, Akinori Otsuka, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Mac Suzuki, Masato Yoshii
Tadahito Iguchi, Kazuo Fukumori, Tomokazu Ohka, Kei Igawa, Keiichi Yabu, Yasuhiko Yabuta, Masahide Kobayashi