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For all the ideas Japanese baseball has lifted from its MLB counterpart in North America, it’s surprising a proper Hall of Fame ceremony hasn’t been one of them.

This year’s Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame class was a doozy, including among others, former Hanshin Tigers and Hiroshima Carp great Tomoaki Kanemoto and former Yomiuri Giants and Samurai Japan manager Tatsunori Hara, two giants among Japanese baseball fans, and also Hideki Matsui, a superstar in Japan with great name recognition outside the country — he’s on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in North America too — because of his MLB career.

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