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Let's look back at the history of Japanese players in MLB

Infographic: Jenny Goldstick

Back in 1964, Masanori Murakami became the very first Japanese baseball player to play for an American team. He pitched for the Giants for parts of two seasons before returning to the Nanaki Hawks, and it wasn't until 1995 that another Japanese player made his way stateside. Hideo Nomo signed with the Dodgers that year, and up until 2017, at least one Japanese player per year debuted in MLB. 

Shohei Ohtani will make his debut in 2018 with the Angels (and perhaps, submariner Kazuhisa Makita will get his chance). As we await that day, let's look back at the history of Japanese baseball players in MLB (click to enlarge): 

Japan graphic