2016 Japanese League Baseball Season Roster
- Sushi Power! A bit of lore to go with Nippon Ham Fighters’ Nippon Series victory
- Carp Flounder: Cubs-like dream unfulfilled for Hiroshima
- Major League Watch: Dual-threat Shohei Otani blazes way to Pacific League MVP
With more Japanese Leagues batters and pitchers playing well in the Major Leagues, Strat-O-Matic gamers can get the knowledge edge by using today’s Japanese stars (especially fireballing Shoehei Otani) in this unique re-creation. Do it with thrilling pennant races and former Major Leaguers salting the Japanese lineups.
Japanese baseball nearly produced its version of the 2016 Cubs when the Hiroshima Carp reached the Nippon Series for the first time since 1961 and won the first two games, only to lose the next four to the champion Nippon Ham Fighters. Hiroshima had Central League MVP Takahiro Arai (300-19-101) and home-field sellouts for every game while going 89-52, 17.5 games ahead of the legendary Yomiuri Giants … But Nippon-Ham had Pacific League MVP Shoehei Otani, a 6-4, 207-pound pitcher on every Major League team’s radar. He was 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts and threw the fastest pitch ever recorded in Japanese baseball, 102.5 mph. His .322 batting average was almost an after-thought.
Nippon-Ham also had a slice of lore-in-the-making going for it. Slugger Brandon Laird of was eating at a restaurant and the chef brought him sushi, saying it would bring him good luck—and Laird hit a homeroom the following day. Laird’s homerun trot now includes him mimicking making sushi, and even the third-base coach and the fans have become part of the sushi craze. Some fans bring stuffed sushi toys to the ballpark and a between-innings activity shows fans doing the sushi-making motion on the video board. The routine seems to work—Laird led the Pacific League with 39 homeruns and he hit a grand slam in the six-run eighth inning that decided the final game of the Nippon Series.
Many other stars had huge seasons. Play them all with as-played files, including the three All-Star games and the Nippon Series teams, with lineups. Actual Japanese-season player statistics have been adjusted for a season that can be played in stand-alone Japanese leagues or against contemporary Major League teams.
Requires Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2017 or higher to play
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