Glickman: Early references to Japanese baseball in “The Sporting News”

From SABR member Dan Glickman at The Baseball Continuum on November 13, 2014:

One of the great perks of SABR membership is access online to The Sporting News’ archives. While it now is dedicated to all sports, for a good chunk of it’s earlier history it was almost entirely focused on baseball (with some boxing, horse-racing and college football thrown in here and there). So, today, I take a look at some early references to things in The Sporting News. In this case, in the spirit of MLB’s current tour of Japan, I’m looking at certain topics related to baseball in Japan.

Baseball in Japan in General

While there were some references to Japan as far back as the 1880s, they either are references to other things or exceedingly brief and vague, like this item from the November 13, 1886 issue that I honestly do not understand whatsoever:


The first real, unequivocal reference to baseball in Japanese baseball in The Sporting News was in 1897, as the December 4 issue had this headline …

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Originally published: November 13, 2014. Last Updated: November 13, 2014.