When did the Japanese Leagues become a Major League?

When did the Japanese Leagues become a Major League?

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Why does anyone care that Ichiro is going to have 3000 hits in his career. Most of which he spent in the lesser Japanese leagues.

This article http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080729&content_id=3217965&vkey=news_sea&fext=.jsp&c_id=sea appeared on mlb.com on Tuesday. As mud.com’s K-Man has pointed out several times is the fact that Julio Franco really is the first multi-national 3000 hit man. Franco spending time in MLB, the Japanese Leagues and the Mexican League. The Mexican League actually has a designated rating, placing it below the ML as AAA calibre.
MLB has never made a decision on the calibre of the Japanese League and it is from here that Ichiro can claim to be a 3000 hit man. But the Japanese Leagues are not, in any stretch of the imagination a Major League.

There seems to be a trend to move towards giving the Japanese Leagues more respect and a higher calibre identification for the Japanese players.

I beleive that combining these types of records between unaffiliated and more or less unrecognised leagues in the eyes of MLB there is opening up too much discussion on the merits of other leagues.

In the 1960’s baseball investigated several leagues across several seasons of its early history. They identified some leagues as being Major League. At this point it recognised the Federal League, the Player’s League and the Union Association as true Major Leagues.

Major League Baseball has a Constitution and unless it changes that to include Japanese baseball we should not even consider Ichiro and his greatness before 2001. He should just be an old rookie.

Before baseball includes Japanese stats they must include those of the Negro Leagues. The influx of Negro League players has never affected ML play as much. Negro League stats are suspect and players have been admitted to the Hall of Fame with no true idea of career numbers. However, the Negro Leagues were probably closer to the level of Major League ball than the Japanese League could ever dream of.

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  • daperman

    Couldnt agree with Early more. The fact that Ichiro was a rookie of the year indicates that MLB does not recognize the off shore records as being equivalent to MLB. There has been an argument that because the off shore players have played for so long that they should not be recognized as rookies or an age limit placed on being eligible for ROY. Most off shore leagues would be considered high minor league AAA calibre. As such all first year players regardless of previous locations age or leagues should be rookies and their records as non MLB immaterial

  • RC

    and what of Cuba? These leagues have merit. The oppressed baseball star should warrant equal consideration whether it be oppression due to colour of his skin or country of origin. A baseball hall of fame is not a Major League Hall of Fame. Even if you don’t face the worlds greatest competition the lifetime accomplishments of say an Omar Linares still hold merit. Is a .500 batting avg in Japan = a .250 major league average? Is an Olympic gold medal = accomplisment to an AL East penant? Any accomplishment in the sport is noteworthy, maybe not on a 1:1 comparison but those voting for admission to the hall of fame should consider your lifetime contribution to the sport, and this includes amateur, pro, and in between. The Cuban National team could compete with major league teams and are the amateur dream team of sport. Should your merits be penalized for playing for them? No more than a Negro leaguer should be penalized in consideration because he didn’t pitch to Babe Ruth in my opinion.