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Friday, 18th July 2008
In Sports,

Baseball world hails Nomo as he announces retirement

Baseball players in Japan have paid tribute to the legendary pitcher Hideo Nomo after he announced his retirement from the sport.

Mr Nomo, who is now 39, is widely credited with opening the door to the US Major Leagues for Japanese players when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995, reports AFP.

He was the second baseball player to ply his trade in Major League Baseball, after Masanori Murakami, who did so between 1964 and 1965 with the San Francisco Giants.

When Nomo joined the Dodgers, the team was managed by Tommy Lasorda. Mr Lasorda told broadcaster NHK: "He accomplished something that a very few guys have ever done. I want to congratulate him on having a tremendous career here."

Hideki Matsui, a star slugger for the New York Yankees, said: "Those of us who're playing in the Major Leagues owe him a lot".

The Los Angeles Times reported recently that the Dodgers would play host to the World Baseball Classic.

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