1998 Japanese League Baseball Season Roster
- Oh, Yoko: Best in regular season, Yokohama wins its second Nippon Series
- Overseas: Future MLB stars Suzuki, Matsui and Sasaki starred here first
- War in the Pacific: Five of six Pacific League teams battle for crown
NOTE: Although the statistics cited in this blurb and on the SOM rosters are the actual Japanese statistics, the player cards are computed by using Major League equivalences.
The Yokohama BayStars forged the best record in Nippon Baseball (79-56-1) to win the Central League by four games with its “Machine Gun Offense” (its quick succession of hits that produced multi-run innings) and Central League MVP Kazuhiro Sasaki (45 saves, 0.64 ERA). Then the BayStars won the Nippon Series against the Seibu Lions, winners of the hard-fought Pacific League, where five of six teams finished within five games of first place.
Major League fans should recognize Sasaki, who saved 129 games in four seasons with Seattle, future Mariner Ichiro Suzuki (who hit .358 in Japan in ’98) and future Yankee Hidecki “Godzilla” Matsui (.292-34-100, with 104 walks, 103 runs). They are among at least 51 future Major Leaguers active in Nippon Baseball this year. This was the last season before Japan allowed its players to be posted for signing by Major League Baseball.
Many other stars had huge seasons. Play them all with as-played files, including the three All-Star games and the Nippon Series teams, with lineups. Actual Japanese-season player statistics have been adjusted for a season that can be played in stand-alone Japanese leagues or against contemporary Major League teams.
Requires Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2019 or higher to play
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