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The last time there was a Yakult-Orix Japan Series played, it was 1995. The Orix team was the BlueWave, based in Kobe and led by some guy named Ichiro Suzuki. He had just completed his second full season in Japanese baseball, hitting .342 to win his second of seven consecutive Pacific League batting titles.

Americans Troy Neel & Doug (D.J.) Jennings were on that team with Ichiro, playing under the “Gambaroo Kobe” slogan months after the devastating earthquake that struck the Kansai region on Jan. 17 of that year.

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