St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar barely speaks Japanese, but may feel a wave of childhood nostalgia when he joins his Samurai Japan teammates ahead of March’s World Baseball Classic.
The 25-year-old Nootbaar grew up in California, the youngest son of a Dutch father and a Japanese mother. He will be the first Japan player who qualified to compete for the team in the WBC through his ancestry.
Manager Hideki Kuriyama expects Nootbaar to enrich the team by virtue of his having grown up playing a different style of baseball. Yet, Nootbaar already has a connection to Japanese baseball from when he was a boy growing up in California.
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Source : Baseball – The Japan Times