YAKYU | BASEBALL

The Transpacific Exchange of the Game

COMING JULY 2025

Baseball in the United States and yakyu in Japan exist, and in fact prosper, as a result of the emergence of transpacific systems of exchange between the two countries over the past 150 years. This exhibit will explore the wide-ranging exchange of baseball between Japan and the United States from the Meiji era to today and the transpacific circulation of baseball concepts, styles of play, fan experiences, equipment, and people that shaped the shared culture of the game. 

 

SUPPORT YAKYU | BASEBALL

 

Yakyu: the Japanese name for baseball

With an interpretive approach that balances the U.S. and Japan's contributions to the exchange of baseball - coinciding with Ichiro's first year of eligibility for election into the Hall of Fame - the Museum's first transpacific exhibition will appeal to international and domestic audiences.  

Exhibit theme graphic

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

It is hard to imagine Major League Baseball without superstar Japanese players.

 

Masanori Murakami (1964-1965) and Hideo Nomo (1995-2005, 2008) opened the door for heroes like Ichiro Suzuki (2001-2019), Hideki Matsui (2003-2012) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2007-2014) - a trend that continues with today's stars like Yu Darvish (2012-present) and Shohei Ohtani (2018-present).

 

Many American players and managers have gone to Nippon Professional Baseball and made a significant impact on the game in Japan.

Some of the most successful include Randy Bass, Warren Cromartie, Matt Murton and Bobby Valentine. 

The exhibit will coincide with Ichiro Suzuki's first year of eligibility for election into the Hall of Fame in 2025.

 

 

Known simply as Ichiro by baseball fans around the world, his induction would be a first for a Japanese player.

YAKYU | BASEBALL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Opening July 2025, the exhibit will explore the wide-ranging exchange of baseball between Japan and the United States.

TOKYO, JAPAN

The press conference at the US Ambassador's residence in Tokyo announcing the Yakyu | Baseball exhibit. From left to right: Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch, Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, Masanori Murakami and Warren Cromartie.

 

The press conference at the US Ambassador's residence in Tokyo announcing the Yakyu | Baseball exhibit. From left to right: Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch, Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, Masanori Murakami and Warren Cromartie. (courtesy of US Embassy)

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE

続きを読む 

YANKEE STADIUM

From L to R: Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch, Roy White and Hideki Matsui.

 

The press conference at Yankee Stadium announcing the Yakyu | Baseball exhibit. From L to R: Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch, Roy White and Hideki Matsui. (Arielle Goldman-Hecht/New York Yankees)

 

 

 

 

DODGER STADIUM

From left to right: Torey Lovullo, Dave Roberts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shohei Ohtani and Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch with artifacts from the Museum's collection during a press conference on July 2, 2024.

From left to right: Torey Lovullo, Dave Roberts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shohei Ohtani and Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch with artifacts from the Museum's collection during a press conference on July 2, 2024. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

As the @Dodgers celebrate their Japanese Heritage Night, Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto donated artifacts in support of Yakyu/Baseball, the Museum’s upcoming exhibit opening in July 2025.

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE

TOKYO, JAPAN

The press conference at the US Ambassador's residence in Tokyo announcing the Yakyu | Baseball exhibit. From left to right: Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch, Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, Masanori Murakami and Warren Cromartie.

 

The press conference at the US Ambassador's residence in Tokyo announcing the Yakyu | Baseball exhibit. From left to right: Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch, Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, Masanori Murakami and Warren Cromartie. (courtesy of US Embassy)

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE

続きを読む 

YANKEE STADIUM

From L to R: Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch, Roy White and Hideki Matsui.

 

The press conference at Yankee Stadium announcing the Yakyu | Baseball exhibit. From L to R: Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch, Roy White and Hideki Matsui. (Arielle Goldman-Hecht/New York Yankees)

 

 

 

 

DODGER STADIUM

From left to right: Torey Lovullo, Dave Roberts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shohei Ohtani and Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch with artifacts from the Museum's collection during a press conference on July 2, 2024.

From left to right: Torey Lovullo, Dave Roberts, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shohei Ohtani and Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch with artifacts from the Museum's collection during a press conference on July 2, 2024. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

As the @Dodgers celebrate their Japanese Heritage Night, Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto donated artifacts in support of Yakyu/Baseball, the Museum’s upcoming exhibit opening in July 2025.

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE

MEET THE TEAM

In addition to our talented curatorial team, we have enlisted exhibit ambassadors and curatorial consultants with expertise on baseball in Japan. 

 

CURATORIAL CONSULTANTS:

 

  • Rob Fitts, Historian and Author
  • Brad Lefton, Journalist
  • Yoichi Nagata, Historian and Author

 

EXHIBIT AMBASSADORS:

 

  • Scott Akasaki, Senior Director, Team Travel, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Makoto Hayashi, Director, Pacific Rim Operations, Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Nobby Ito, Official Historian and Senior Advisor for Rules & Labor, Nippon Professional Baseball

  • Adam Jones, Former outfielder, Baltimore Orioles, Orix Buffaloes, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks 

  • Acey Kohrogi, Director, Pacific Rim Operations, San Diego Padres

  • Torey Lovullo, Manager, Arizona Diamondbacks and former Yakult Swallows player 

EXHIBIT AMBASSADORS (continued):

 

  • Grace McNamee, Manager, Communications, Los Angeles Angels

  • Matt Murton, Former Outfielder, Hanshin Tigers, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies

  • Kerry Yo Nakagawa, Founder and Director, Nisei Baseball Research Project

  • Don Nomura, Sports Agent

  • Sadayuki Sakakibara, Commissioner, Nippon Professional Baseball

  • Sayuri Guthrie Shimizu, Dunlevie Family Professor of History, Rice University

  • Taka Shirai, Executive Director, Matsui 55 Baseball Foundation & President, Leadoff Sports

  • Masanobu Shoji, President, Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

  • Jim Small, President, World Baseball Classic

  • Bill Staples, Historian and Board Member, Nisei Baseball Research Project

  • Bobby Valentine, Former Manager, Chiba Lotte Marines, Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox

  • Paul Yonamine, Chairman of the Board, Central Pacific Bank

SUPPORT YAKYU | BASEBALL

You can support this groundbreaking exhibit with a contribution today. 

For more information on sponsorship opportunities contact:

Ken Meifert, Vice President Sponsorship and Development

607.547.0286

kmeifert@baseballhall.org

 

We need your help

Maintaining  a robust exhibit program requires not only the funding to build and install new exhibits like Yakyu | Baseball, but the resources to retain a team of talented professionals including curators, researchers, designers, fabricators, collections staff and archivists capable of telling a complex tale through the priceless artifacts in our collections.

The Museum’s exhibits bring baseball history to life. For more than 250,000 visitors a year, the exhibits weave together legendary accomplishments, famous characters and cultural impact in a narrative that is uniquely baseball’s.

SUPPORT YAKYU | BASEBALL

far away

 

under the skies of America

 

they began

 

baseball—ah,

 

I could watch it forever

 

Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

The memories you’ll make here will last a lifetime. Awed by priceless artifacts. Moved by stories and triumphs that inspired and united a nation. Find your way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and you’ll make history of your own.

TRAVEL PACKAGES

The Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Hall of Fame travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.

THE MUSEUM

Across our three floors of exhibit space, you will experience baseball history through artifacts on display, which showcase the important individual and team moments on the field as well as the game's monumental impact on our society. 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

The memories you’ll make here will last a lifetime. Awed by priceless artifacts. Moved by stories and triumphs that inspired and united a nation. Find your way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and you’ll make history of your own.

TRAVEL PACKAGES

The Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Hall of Fame travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.

THE MUSEUM

Across our three floors of exhibit space, you will experience baseball history through artifacts on display, which showcase the important individual and team moments on the field as well as the game's monumental impact on our society.