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Tuesday, 12th April 2011
In Sports, Japan Sports News,

Japanese baseball season to get underway at last

More than two weeks later than originally planned, the Japanese professional baseball season is due to start today (April 12th), with players marking last month's natural disasters with special armbands.

Every member of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles team will wear a patch with the words 'Gambaro Tohoku' stitched on it, Japan Times reports, while the rest of the league's teams will have a patch bearing the words 'Gambaro Nippon'.

The Golden Eagles will be hoping to emulate the success of the 1995 Orix Blue Wave team, who won the championship after their region was devastated by a major earthquake.

Manager Senichi Hoshino will be hoping his star performers Hisashi Iwakuma and Masahiro Tanaka play at their best, while fans will be eagerly watching new signings Kazuo Matsui and Akinori Iwamura, both of whom are World Series veterans.

However, Japan Times claims that the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks are a better bet to with the league, thanks to new recruits Seiichi Uchikawa and Alex Cabrera.

Written by Mark Smith