Japanese People Famous Baseball Players from Japan

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List of famous baseball players from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos of the players when available. Japan has produced some very talented baseball players over the years, including pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders. These are some of the best Japanese baseball players to ever live, so if you're a native of Japan and are aspiring to play ball professionally then these people should be your idols. If you're searching for a particular popular baseball player from Japan then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

This list below has everything from Kazumi Saito to Masayoshi Miwa.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Japanese baseball players?" and "Which baseball players are from Japan?"

You can click on the names of these legendary baseball players of Japan in order to get more information about each one. If you play baseball or just love the sport then use this list of talented Japanese baseball players to find some athletes you haven't heard of before.

1
Ichiro Suzuki is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Right fielder, Outfielder, Center fielder Ichiro Suzuki, usually known mononymously as Ichiro, is a Japanese professional baseball right fielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. Originally a player in Japan's Nippon ...more

2
Yu Darvish is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Starting pitcher, Pitcher Yu Darvish is a Japanese starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball. Darvish pitched in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a member of ...more

3
Koji Uehara is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher, Pitcher Koji Uehara is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher who plays for the Boston Red Sox. He has played in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Yomiuri Giants and in Major League Baseball for ...more

4
Hideki Matsui is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Designated hitter, Left fielder, Center fielder Hideki Matsui is a Japanese former professional baseball outfielder and designated hitter who played baseball in Japan and the United States. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. After ...more

5
Sadaharu Oh is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
First baseman Sadaharu Oh, also known as Wang Chen-chih, is a retired Japanese–Chinese baseball player and manager who played 22 seasons for the Yomiuri Giants in Nippon Professional Baseball from 1959 to ...more

6
Hiroki Kuroda is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Starting pitcher, Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball. He pitched in NPB for Hiroshima from 1997 through 2007 before playing in ...more

7
Masahide Kobayashi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher, Pitcher Masahide "Masa" Kobayashi is a former professional baseball pitcher who currently is the pitching coach for the Chiba Lotte Marines. From 1997-2007, Kobayashi played in the Nippon ...more

8
Hisashi Iwakuma is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher, Starting pitcher, Pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. He previously played for the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and Tohoku Rakuten Golden ...more

9
Keiichi Yabu is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher, Pitcher Keiichi Yabu is a Japanese baseball pitching coach for the Hanshin Tigers and a former baseball pitcher. He played eleven seasons in Japan, and parts of two seasons in Major League Baseball for ...more

10
Kazuhiro Sasaki is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher, Pitcher Kazuhiro "Daimajin" Sasaki is a former Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. He played his entire NPB career with the Yokohama Taiyo ...more

11
Yoshinori Tateyama is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama is a Japanese former professional baseball pitcher. A sidearm pitcher, Tateyama relied chiefly on a sinking fastball that averaged 87–88 mph and a curveball in the low 70s. He ...more

12
Akinori Otsuka is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Relief pitcher, Pitcher Akinori Otsuka is a retired Japanese Baseball Pitcher who coaches for the Chunichi Dragons in Nippon Professional Baseball. He was formerly the set-up man for the San Diego Padres and the Texas ...more

13
Kazuo Matsui is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder, Second baseman, Shortstop Kazuo Matsui is a Japanese professional baseball player.

14
Kenji Jojima is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Catcher, First baseman Kenji Johjima is a Japanese former professional baseball player. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball for four years with the Seattle Mariners in the American League, then returned to ...more

15
Ken Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Starting pitcher Ken Takahashi is a Japanese former professional baseball player. He played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in 1995-2008 and the New York Mets in 2009. He returned to the Carp in 2010. Takahashi was ...more

16
Munenori Kawasaki is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki is a Japanese professional baseball shortstop in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Previously, he played for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball, and ...more

17
Norichika Aoki is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Right fielder, Left fielder Norichika "Nori" Aoki is a Japanese professional baseball outfielder for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. He has also played in MLB for the Milwaukee Brewers and ...more

18
Kyuji Fujikawa is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball. He previously pitched for the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball and the ...more

19
Masahiro Tanaka is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is a Japanese professional baseball player.

20
Junichi Tazawa is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Pitcher Junichi Tazawa is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball.

21
Hideki Okajima is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Pitcher Hideki Okajima is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher. He is currently with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. He played with the Boston Red Sox from 2007-2011, and was elected to the 2007 Major ...more

22
Yasuhiko Yabuta is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Pitcher Yasuhiko Yabuta is a Japanese baseball pitcher. He currently plays for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He competed in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and struck ...more

23
Tsuyoshi Shinjo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo is a former Japanese professional baseball outfielder. Shinjo is the second Japanese-born position player to play a Major League Baseball game and was the first Japanese-born ...more

24
Hideki Irabu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Starting pitcher, Pitcher Hideki Irabu was a Japanese professional baseball player of Japanese and American mixed ancestry. He played professionally in both Japan and the United States.

25
Akinori Iwamura is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder, Second baseman, Third baseman Akinori Iwamura is a Japanese baseball infielder, who currently is a player-manager for the Fukushima Hopes in Japan's Baseball Challenge League. He made his Major League debut with the Tampa ...more

26
So Taguchi is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Right fielder, Outfielder, Left fielder So Taguchi is a Japanese former outfielder. After ten seasons with the Orix BlueWave of Nippon Professional Baseball, he played eight years in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, ...more

27
Tsuyoshi Nishioka is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder, Second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka is a professional baseball infielder who plays for the Hanshin Tigers in Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League. He played for the Minnesota Twins of Major League ...more

28
Shinji Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Shinji Takahashi Infielder, Catcher Shinji Takahashi is a Nippon Professional Baseball catcher for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan's Pacific League.

29
Tadahito Iguchi is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder, Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi is a Japanese second baseman currently playing for the Chiba Lotte Marines. As a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2005, he became the first Japanese-born player to win the ...more

30
Daisuke Matsuzaka is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. He has played for the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball ...more

31
Norihiro Nakamura is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder Norihiro Nakamura is a Japanese professional baseball third baseman who is currently a free agent. Nakamura spent almost all of his professional career in Japan with the Osaka Kintetsu ...more

32
Makoto Kaneko is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder Makoto Kaneko is a Japanese professional baseball player.

33
Nobumasa Fukuda is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Nobumasa Fukuda Infielder, Catcher Nobumasa Fukuda is a Japanese professional baseball player for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

34
Takuro Ishii is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder, Shortstop Takuro Ishii is a Japanese professional baseball player. He currently plays for Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed. Ishii was regarded as one of the best Japanese ...more

35
Yusuke Kosai is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Yusuke Kosai Infielder Yusuke Kosai is a Japanese professional baseball infielder for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

36
Akinobu Okada is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Infielder Akinobu Okada is the former manager for the Orix Buffaloes baseball team in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. Prior to his managerial career, he played for the Hanshin Tigers from 1980 to ...more

37
Yasuyuki Kataoka is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Yasuyuki Kataoka Infielder Yasuyuki Kataoka is a Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball player with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League.

38
Dave Roberts is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Outfielder, Left fielder, Center fielder David Ray Roberts is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. Previously, he played with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants. ...more

39
Kosuke Fukudome is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Right fielder, Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is a Japanese professional baseball outfielder for the Hanshin Tigers. Prior to arriving in the United States, Fukudome played nine seasons for the Chunichi Dragons of the ...more

40
Shinnosuke Abe is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Catcher Shinnosuke Abe is a Japanese professional baseball player with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He has played for the Japanese national team since 1999 as a catcher. ...more

41
Hidekazu Hoshi is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Hidekazu Hoshi Outfielder, Infielder, Catcher Hidekazu Hoshi is a Japanese professional baseball player.

42
Takeshi Yamasaki is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Takeshi Yamasaki Infielder Takeshi Yamasaki is a retired Japanese professional baseball player. During his 24 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, he played for the Chunichi Dragons, the Orix BlueWave, and the Tohoku ...more

43
Taiki Mitsumata is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Taiki Mitsumata Infielder Taiki Mitsumata is a professional Japanese baseball player.

44
Akihiro Higashide is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Akihiro Higashide Infielder Akihiro Higashide is a Nippon Professional Baseball player for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan's Central League.

45
Tomohito Yoneno is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Tomohito Yoneno Outfielder, Infielder, Catcher Tomohito Yoneno is a Japanese professional baseball outfielder for the Saitama Seibu Lions in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.

46
Ryosuke Morioka is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Ryosuke Morioka Infielder Ryosuke Morioka is a Japanese professional baseball player.

47
Mitsutaka Goto is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Mitsutaka Goto Infielder Mitsutaka Gotoh is a Japanese professional baseball infielder for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He previously played with the Orix Buffaloes.

48
Eiichi Koyano is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Eiichi Koyano Outfielder, Infielder Eiichi Koyano is a Japanese professional baseball player.

49
Yuto Morikoshi is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Yuto Morikoshi Infielder Yuto Morikoshi is a professional baseball player.

50
Keizo Kawashima is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Baseball Players from Japan
Keizo Kawashima Outfielder, Infielder Keizo Kawashima is a professional Japanese baseball player. He plays infielder for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.