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Elephant Rumblings: Exhibition Baseball in Asia, April Opening Days for NPB, KBO?

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Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics
Playing in a different country can make a world of difference for your career
Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

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Today in Baseball History:

  • 1968 - In a spring training game, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jim Ellis creates the “Lip Pass” by going to his mouth on a 3 and 1 count to issue an intentional walk. Cubs manager Leo Durocher, who was opposed to the new strict enforcement of the rule preventing pitchers from going to their mouth while on the rubber, is warned not to repeat the Lip pass or he’ll be fined. He doesn’t, but the rule is relaxed.
  • 2009: Japan wins the 2009 World Baseball Classic, its second World Baseball Classic title in the two times the tournament had been held. As in 2006, Daisuke Matsuzaka is named MVP after going 3-0. In the finale, Japan beats the South Korean national team, 5 - 3 ,in 10 innings, with a 2-run single by Ichiro Suzuki off Chang-yong Lim being the winning hit. Suzuki goes 4 for 6 in the game. Yu Darvish gets the win after blowing a save opportunity in the 9th.
  • 2011: On the last day of the Cuban Serie Nacional 2010-2011 regular season, José Dariel Abreu cracks his 33rd home run. Despite missing about a quarter of the season with an injury, Abreu wins two legs of the Triple Crown. He and Yoennis Céspedes both break Alfredo Despaigne’s two-year old home run record of 32.

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