Nippon Professional Baseball

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Nippon Professional Baseball or NPB is the highest level of baseball in Japan. Locally, it is often called Puro Yakyū (プロ野球), meaning Professional Baseball. Outside of Japan, it is often just referred to as "Japanese baseball". The roots of the league can be traced back to the formation of the Greater Japan Tokyo Baseball Club (大日本東京野球倶楽部 Dai-Nippon Tōkyō Yakyū Kurabu?) in 1934 and the original Japanese Baseball League. NPB was formed when that league reorganized in 1950.

Some notable Japanese players who have gone on to play in North America's Major League Baseball include Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki, Tadahito Iguchi, Kenji Johjima, Hideki Matsui, So Taguchi, Hideki Irabu, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Kazuo Matsui, Kazuhito Tadano, Hiroki Kuroda, Akinori Iwamura, Akinori Otsuka, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Kosuke Fukudome, Koji Uehara, Kenshin Kawakami, and Takashi Saito.

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