New Museum Exhibit to Explore Transpacific Baseball Exchange

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – For more than 150 years, the United States’ national pastime has been played in Japan.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today, at United States Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel’s residence in Tokyo, that it will explore the longstanding exchange of teams and players in those 15 decades in a new exhibit entitled Yakyu/Baseball: The Transpacific Exchange of the Game, scheduled to open in July 2025.

Debuting in the same year as Ichiro Suzuki’s first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Hall of Fame ballot, the exhibit will feature artifacts and stories about a game that became the most popular sport in Japan less than 50 years after the United States and Japan established diplomatic relations.

“For more than 150 years, baseball has been at the heart of the national culture in both the United States and Japan, with America’s National Pastime quickly becoming Japan’s national sport,” said Josh Rawitch, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “This exhibit will explore the transpacific exchange of baseball, including players, styles of play, equipment and the fan experience. The stories we will tell will range from the challenge of the pioneer players on both sides of the Pacific to the achievements of today’s stars and the many celebrated tours of baseball teams in both countries. We hope fans from all over the world, including Japan, have a chance to enjoy this exhibit.”

Today, baseball remains a cultural touchstone for both countries, with players crossing the Pacific Ocean in both directions to play as both amateurs and professionals.

“I have great memories of watching the likes of Yu Darvish and Tsuyoshi Wada playing for my beloved Cubs at Wrigley Field,” said Rahm Emanuel, United States Ambassador to Japan. “Japanese players have contributed so much to our shared national pastime over the decades, and this exhibition highlights yet another aspect of our two countries’ deep-rooted friendship that has given joy to millions.”

Located on the Museum’s third floor, the exhibit will cover more than 1,800 square feet of space and feature four aspects of transpacific baseball: 

  • Japanese teams touring America, including the first such tour by the Waseda University team in 1905
  • American teams touring Japan, including the first trip in 1907 and the massively popular tour featuring Babe Ruth in 1934
  • Players born in the United States playing in Japan, including Larry Doby, Warren Cromartie, Randy Bass and many more
  • Players born in Japan playing in the United States, starting with MLB pioneer Masanori Murakami in 1964 and followed by Hideo Nomo in 1995 and the stars that followed

From Japanese stars like Sadaharu Oh and Eiji Sawamura to United States emissaries like Lefty O’Doul to one of the game’s biggest superstars in Shohei Ohtani, the United States and Japan’s shared love of baseball has spawned thousands of individual friendships and helped bring the nations together during times of peace, conflict, and reconciliation.

For more information on the Museum’s transpacific exhibit, please visit