Team Addresses

Teams don’t publish their email addresses.

If you want to contact a team in writing, it’s better to do so by letter. You’ll be more certain of a reply if you have your letter translated into Japanese by a native speaker.

Team phone numbers, physical and mailing addresses, and the like are listed in the Stadium Info page for each team.

Contacting a Player

Players are tough to contact in Japan. The best way is to send a letter to them in care of their team, which addresses are in the Stadium Info pages for each team. The team will deliver your letter to the clubhouse.

Sometimes people send baseball cards requesting the player to sign, but forget that the return postage must be Japan postage on the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope.

Merchandise

There is no modestly priced way we know of to get official merchandise at this time sent outside of Japan. You can find buying services from Japan online that will ship an item or two but it is very costly.

Many of the sites in English now selling Japan baseball items are using made-up logos, plain text, or knock-offs of the team logo.

From time to time people have had success with this site:

http://global.rakuten.com/en/

Tickets

Avoid ticket purchase hassles and sellouts. Get tickets to baseball and other events before you get to Japan.

See our sister site for ticketing at:

JapanBallTickets.com

Plenty of answers to buying Japan tickets are there.

Memorabilia

People often write us about a baseball, uniform or other piece of memorabilia they may have hoping to know its value or what the Japanese writing on it says. We don’t provide that service. However, you may want to try the undisputed leader in Japan Baseball Memorabilia, Robb Fitts, at:

http://robfitts.com/

Playing in Japan

Allow me to meld my thoughts with those from Dan Latham, the founding contributor to this site.

There are 12 Japanese big league teams, each having one minor league team, so there aren’t nearly as many slots available for players in Japan as there are in Major League Baseball and its minor leagues.

Further, each Japanese team opens only a handful of roster spots to foreign players.

Major League Baseball scouts tend to categorize Japanese pro baseball as AAAA. Meaning it is a step above AAA and a step below the big leagues. It is extremely competitive play.

Japanese clubs, as a rule, look at former Major League players or those who’ve been successful in AAA, or possibly AA, and who might be on the bubble of the big leagues. They want players who can contribute right now.

Native Japanese players generally are strong on defense and good contact hitters. Teams often look for foreign players who can hit for power. If a player is a fast base-runner or good with a glove, that’s an added benefit, but usually not the selling point.

As to position players, foreign catchers and middle infielders are in low demand. There’s too much potential for communication problems. Second basemen and shortstops are typically not power hitters, and most teams would prefer to use Japanese players in those positions. For the most part Japanese teams will consider foreign outfielders, first and third basemen.

When selecting foreign pitchers, teams may be more flexible. Since few Japanese pitchers throw hard, teams are often impressed by foreign pitchers who do. But those with control problems don’t last long. Even if a foreign pitcher doesn’t throw hard, teams will often give him a look if he has terrific control and was successful at AAA.

The Japanese teams have a very active worldwide scouting system.

If you have not played in AA, AAA or MLB or similar you have no chance of playing in Japan.

Players have asked if they can contact teams in Japan directly to give them their personal data. You can do that, though I think it may be a waste of your resources.

However, if you’re convinced that you have been overlooked and want to take a shot at sending them your info then the Stadium Info page will lead you to the address for each team.

What tends to be true is that players who have played in AA, AAA, or the big leagues have agents whose job it is to sell the ballplayer.  If a player is not good enough to have an agent, it is highly improbable the player is good enough to play in Japan.