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Which country has played baseball since the 1870s?Answer – Japan – You may think of baseball as one of America’s most beloved pastimes, but it’s also immensely popular in Japan, where it was first introduced all the way back in the 1870s by Horace Mann, an American school teacher in Tokyo. During the same decade, engineer Hiroshi Hiraoka came home from studying in the United States and launched the first organized Japanese baseball team, the Shimbashi Athletic Club, in 1878. Over the next several decades the sport swept through Japan, with teams being established at schools and universities across the country. The 1934 Major League All-Star tour of Japan was led by Babe Ruth, with a roster including Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Charlie Gehringer, Earl Averill, Lefty Gomez, Lefty O’Doul, and Moe Berg. On that tour the Japanese team lost all 18 games, but the excitement for the sport didn’t dim. Professional teams were formed in the 1930s, but the league really took off after the end of World War II. Today the Japanese Professional Baseball League consists of two leagues with six teams each, and millions of Japanese fans follow the sport closely.:
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