Japanese Players In Major League Baseball: A total of 54 Japanese-born players have played in at least one Major League Baseball (MLB) game. The first instance of a Japanese-born player playing in MLB occurred in 1964, when the Nankai Hawks, a Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team, sent three exchange prospects to the United States to gain experience in MLB's minor league system. One of the players, pitcher Masanori Murakami, was named the California League Rookie of the Year while playing for the Fresno Giants (the San Francisco Giants' Class-A team). For thirty years Murakami was the only Japanese player to appear in an MLB game. Pitcher Hideo Nomo, with the help of agent Don Nomura, became the second Japanese-born player to play in MLB in 1995. Japanese-born players have had a range of success in MLB. Twelve players have been selected to participate in the All-Star Game; Ichiro Suzuki has made the most appearances with ten. In addition to these selections, Ichiro has won several prestigious MLB awards including the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award and the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 2001, the All-Star Game MVP Award in 2007 and multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards. See "List of Major League Baseball players from Japan". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
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