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Masanori Murakami, a trailblazer who became the first Japanese to play in the major leagues, celebrated the 50th anniversary since his debut on Monday.

Murakami, 70, a right-hander who left the Nankai Hawks to sign with the Class A Fresno Giants before his call-up to the big leagues, pitched the ninth inning at Shea Stadium of the San Francisco Giants’ 4-1 loss to the New York Mets on Sept. 1, 1964.

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