Major League Baseball (MLB) is set to tour Japan for the first time in eight years after the announcement of an All-Star Series featuring leading players from the North American league against the Japanese national team.
Taking place in November, MLB said the 2014 renewal of the event will mark the 11th All-Star Series and the 36th time overall that a team of major leaguers has toured Japan for exhibition games, dating back to 1908. The current five-game format was first played in 2006, which was the last time the MLB All-Stars faced off against the Japan All-Stars.
Japan is a major baseball market and All-Star Series games will be hosted in Osaka (Kyocera Dome), Tokyo (Tokyo Dome), Sapporo (Sapporo Dome) and Okinawa (Okinawa Cellular Stadium).
MLB commissioner Bud Selig said: “This event will not only resume a longtime baseball tradition, but also will illustrate the historic bond that links us to our Japanese friends and peers.”
The MLB squad will have plenty of Japanese natives to choose from, among them New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Kansas City Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki. The series will run from November 11-20.