This day in baseball: The Yomiuri Giants are formed

On December 26, 1934, Matsutaro Shoriki, the head of Yomiuri Newspapers in Japan, announced the formation of Japan’s first professional team, the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Giants.  The team consisted of players signed to compete against the American all-star team (originally called the Great Japan Tokyo Baseball Club).  However, professional league play, with six teams, would not begin until 1936 with the formation of the Japanese Baseball League.

Today, the Yomiuri Giants are considered “The New York Yankees of Japan” due to their widespread popularity, historical dominance of the league, and their polarizing effect on fans.

Yomiuri_giants_insignia

Yomiuri Giants insignia (Wikipedia)