Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Next Big MLB Thing from Japan

Who will be the next star from Japan to make the jump to the MLB? Some are saying Masahiro Tanaka could be that guy. Over 7 seasons, Tanaka has an ERA of 2.32, with 1.20 ERA so far this season - he's 19-0 in 22 starts. There are other great pitchers here - Kenta Maeda might be the most popular in Japan. Time will tell if Tanaka makes it to America, and if he's successful. The Yankees and Rangers seem to be most interested in bringing him from the Eagles, though other teams could put in bids.

This round sticker was found at a second-hand shop in Sendai and features Tanaka. Mar-kun is his nickname, though I'm unsure about the King reference. I'm guessing (without knowing much about Tanaka) that the lion is his mascot as I saw other merchandise referencing Tanaka and the lion together. The copyright is Rakuten Eagles so this could be some sort of giveaway at the stadium, possibly for fan club members or as part of a promotion. The back is blank.

As always, any information is welcome!


  1. I don't have any information to share, but I was looking at the write on Tanaka wondering how the Eagles could have a player worth posting... I mean, they're an expansion team, aren't they?

    They I did a bit of Googling and realized that this is their 9th season. Damn, I didn't realize it'd been that long.

    1. To be fair - Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners came from the Eagles, although he was originally drafted by Kintetsu.

  2. Yeah I think of the Eagles as an expansion team, but then they have been there for quite a while, plenty of time for a farm system to develop. The Eagles are at the top of their division with the second best record in baseball now, pretty good for a smaller market team that has Andruw Jones not producing on their roster (ok, he has 20 home runs, but still...).