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 Japanese Baseball Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
 Japanese Baseball Quizzes, Trivia

Japanese Baseball Trivia

Japanese Baseball Trivia Quizzes

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Japanese baseball is as big in Japan and the Major Leagues are in the United States. Come test your knowledge of some of these great teams and players, and find some who played in the Major Leagues!
5 Japanese Baseball quizzes and 55 Japanese Baseball trivia questions.
  The Curse of the Colonel   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
In 1985, just after winning a National Championship, one of Nippon professional baseball's most under-performing teams was struck by an unusual curse. Test your knowledge of the "Curse of the Colonel".
Tough, 10 Qns, CellarDoor, Mar 14 09
CellarDoor gold member
256 plays
  The Ultimate Japanese Baseball Quiz    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here is a quiz on arguably the number two baseball-playing nation, Japan. The questions aren't too hard if you're a fan. Enjoy!
Tough, 10 Qns, hews, Dec 28 08
487 plays
  American Players in Japan    
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
A number of American-born baseball players have played in the NPB, or Nippon Professional Baseball.
Difficult, 20 Qns, GoodVibe, Dec 23 09
GoodVibe gold member
372 plays
  Difficult Japanese Baseball Quiz - 10 Questions    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A collection of useless facts about Japanese Baseball ...
Difficult, 10 Qns, Faliero, Feb 23 06
488 plays
  'Yakyu' - Japanese Baseball    
Multiple Choice
 5 Qns
Everybody knows about the National and American Leagues, but how about the Central and Pacific? Ever see a game in Koshien or the Kobe Green Stadium? You won't need a 'batto' or a 'gurobu' to pass this baseball quiz, just your own brain!
Difficult, 5 Qns, Nayuta, Oct 20 02
616 plays
Related Topics
  Japan [Geography] (51 quizzes)

  Japanese Government [World] (3 quizzes)

  Japan History [History] (24 quizzes)

  Japanese Music [Music] (7 quizzes)

  Japanese Railways [World] (5 quizzes)

  Japanese Language [World] (22 quizzes)

Japanese Baseball Trivia Questions

1. During the 1980s, one of the biggest stars of the NBP was Randy Bass. In 1986, Bass went into the record books with a batting average of what?

From Quiz
American Players in Japan

Answer: .389

Bass played in the majors from 1977-1982, then played for the Hanshin Tigers from 1982-1988. In 2004, Bass became an Oklahoma state senator.

2. What are the names of the two leagues in which Japanese teams compete?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Pacific League and Central League

In 2002, each league consisted of six teams, the top two of which play off against each other in the Japan Series every October/November.

3. Who was the first 'gaijin' to manage a Japanese baseball team?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Joe Lutz

Joe Lutz lasted less than a month at the helm of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, in 1975. In 1979, Don Blasingame was hired to manage the Hanshin Tigers.

4. Every year, for as long as three weeks, the Hanshin Tigers of Osaka have to go on a long road trip called the 'Road of Death', and it always hurts the team. They have to do this because ...

From Quiz 'Yakyu' - Japanese Baseball

Answer: ... the national high school championships are being played in their park

The Koshien high school tournament is wildly {popular;} kids lucky to play in it will take dirt from the field after the game, and fans and players alike cry after a tough loss.

5. What did Tuffy Rhodes nearly do in 2001?

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: Break Sadaharu Oh's single season home run record

Rhodes tied Oh's record with 55 home runs, but was denied the record because the Tokyo Giants did not want a foreigner to hold the record. Strangely, Oh is a Taiwanese national. Rhodes has played for the Astros (1990-1993), Cubs (1993-1995), Red Sox (1995), Osaka Buffaloes (1996-2003), and Yomiuri Giants (2004-2005). He attempted to make a comeback in 2006 with the Cincinnati Reds, but was cut during Spring Training. In 2007, he tried out with the Orix Buffaloes. Depsite his limited American success, Rhodes gained notoriety by hitting three home runs during the Cubs' 1994 Opening Day game. In 2002, Alex Cabrera of the Seibu Lions tied Rhodes and Oh with a single season high 55 home runs.

6. Who was the first Japanese player to play in an American World Series?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Tsuyoshi Shinjo

Shinjo appeared for the San Francisco Giants on October 19, 2002.

7. Who was the foreign player who pitched for the Tokyo Giants in 1936?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Victor Starfin

Victor Starfin was Russian to boot.

8. The St. Louis Cardinals were famous for their huge minor-league chain which contracted hundreds of players. How many minor-league affiliates does the average Japanese team have?

From Quiz 'Yakyu' - Japanese Baseball

Answer: 1

Each team has just one junior-varsity-like squad to back up the major leaguers. They wear the same uniforms and generally play in the vicinity of the big {club;} entirely different from the small-town fun atmosphere of a lot of American minor-league clubs. Perhaps Japanese teams would fare better against their US counterparts in international competition if they focused more on minor-league development...

9. Boston Red Sox hero Gabe Kapler briefly played in Japan for what team?

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: Giants

Kapler spent part of the 2005 season with the Giants, but soon left Japan and returned to the Red Sox. Kapler retired in 2006 and became a manager of the Single-A affiliate Greenville Drive.

10. Which Japanese team won the most Japan Series Championships between 1991 and 2001?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Yakult Swallows

Though dwarfed in revenues and fan support by their neighbours the Yomiuri Giants, the Swallows have been consistent, winning titles in 93, 95, 97 and 2001.

11. Who are the traditional rivals of the Tokyo Giants?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Hanshin Tigers

12. How many years did Warren Cromartie spend in Japan?

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: seven

Cromartie, who previously played for the Expos, was with the Yomiuri Giants from 1984-1990. After spending 1991 with the Royals, Cromartie retired. He was manager of the independent Japan Samurai Bears in 2005, the team's only season.

13. Which notorious underachievers retain a huge fan base despite not winning a Japan series from 1985 through the 2003 season?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Hanshin Tigers

Hanshin finished last in the Central League four years in a row, from 1998-2001. They recorded the third highest crowd figures in Japanese baseball in 2001, were number one in merchandising receipts and had a feature film made about a fictional succesful team. The team finished runner-up to the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in 2003.

14. What was the nickname of notorious Tokyo Giants pitcher Suguru Egawa?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Dirty

Other nicknames included 'Enemy of the People' and 'The Giant Devil'... obviously a well-regarded player, was Mr. Egawa.

15. The greatest home run hitter in Japanese Baseball history is Sadaharu Oh. He was not pure Japanese, as his father was Chinese. Oh in fact carried a foreign passport. From what country was this passport?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Taiwan

Although of foreign extraction, Sadaharu Oh was born in Tokyo, and thus was considered Japanese by Major League rules.

16. The 1985 championship team is said to have been cursed because of what its fans did to the statue of a vengeful colonel. What is it that they did?

From Quiz The Curse of the Colonel

Answer: They threw the statue into a river to honor the Japan Series MVP.

At some point during the celebrations in Osaka, ecstatic fans gathered at the Ebisubashi Bridge over the Dotonbori River. Someone had the clever idea of chanting the roster of the victorious Tigers: when each name was yelled, the fan who most resembled the player would jump into the canal. When the name of Series MVP Randy Bass was called, however, it was discovered that none of the fans looked like him; he was, after all, a bearded, 6'1" Caucasian. In an inspired moment, the crowd realized that the Colonel Sanders statue at a nearby KFC franchise ALSO depicted a bearded Caucasian, and the rest is history. The statue was removed from the restaurant and flung into the water. Legend has it that the Hanshin Tigers would never again win the championship while the statue was lost in the depths. Dredgers and divers searched for him, but he wasn't found until a cleanup project on March 10, 2009 -- more than 24 years after he was lost. In his two decades underwater, he had lost his legs, his hands, and his spectacles -- but not his welcoming smile.

17. Larry Doby became the _____ American to play professionally in Japan.

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: third

The first two Americans in NPB were Wally Kaname Yonamine and Don Newcombe. Doby played for Chinuchi in 1962. Doby, a seven-time All-Star, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

18. How many teams make the playoffs each year?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: 4

Each playoff series is played on a best of seven basis.

19. What are the large, highly regimented, cheering groups of fans called?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Oendan

20. In 1973, Joe Pepitone played in ___ games for the Yakult Atoms.

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: 14

Pepitone, best known during his days with the Yankees, had often faked injuries in order to go to discos at night. The three-time All-Star first baseman had one home run, two RBI, and a .163 batting average during his stay in Japan.

21. Which team did Ichiro Suzuki play for before joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Orix BlueWave

Ichiro played eight years with Orix before moving to the United States.

22. What record did the visiting Major League All-Stars compile in 1988, during their tour of Japan?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: 3-2-2

23. After a stellar 1985 season, the accursed team began to build up one of the worst records in the Central League. How long did it take the team to win their next Central League pennant?

From Quiz The Curse of the Colonel

Answer: Eighteen years

Eighteen years after their successful 1985 pennant run, the Tigers finally managed to do it again in 2003. In the intervening seventeen seasons, they placed last in their league ten times, and next-to-last another three times. This gave them the dubious honor of having the worst record of the Central League's six teams. Sadly, the 2003 pennant win did not seem to break the curse, and the Tigers lost that Japan Series.

24. What year did Bob Horner play for the Yakult Swallows?

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: 1987

Horner was the first pick of the 1978 draft and went straight to the majors. In 1987, Horner hit 31 home runs and 73 RBI.

25. Which team did Hideki Matsui sign with for the 2003 season?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: New York Yankees

Matsui joined the Yankees from the Japanese team, Yomiuri Giants.

26. What is the Japanese term for team 'harmony' or 'spirit'?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: wa

27. After twelve years in the minors, infielder Rick Short finally got his shot at the majors with the Washington Nationals. The long journey to the majors included a stop in 2003 with the ____.

From Quiz American Players in Japan

Answer: Chiba Lotte Marines

Short had a second stint in Japan when his contract was sold to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2006. During his eleven games with the Washington Nationals in 2005, Short had 2 home runs and four RBI in only 15 at-bats. One of his home runs was off Dontrelle Willis.

28. Which legendary player broke the home run record in 1964?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Sadaharu Oh

Oh hit 55 home runs in 1964, which still stood at the close of the 2002 season. In 1985 as a manager he instigated Japanese baseball's most controversial moment - he ordered his Yomiuri Giants pitchers to pitch wide of the plate to Randy Bass (Hanshin Tigers) to avoid the latter breaking his record.

29. Which very popular American player was fired by his team, for extending his emergency medical leave in San Francisco?

From Quiz Japanese Baseball

Answer: Randy Bass

Randy Bass's son Zachary was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The Hanshin Tigers released Bass and hired Ruppert Jones as a replacement.

30. In 2003, the Curse of the Colonel claimed its first human victim. After a win by the accursed team, its fans celebrated in a similar way to their boisterous 1985 revels, and a young man lost his life. How did he die?

From Quiz The Curse of the Colonel

Answer: He drowned in an Osaka river after being pushed in by other fans.

Twenty-four-year-old Masaya Shitababa was pushed into the Dotonbori River on September 18, 2003 -- two days after the Tigers' first pennant win in eighteen years. His two friends made it out of the water; Shitababa did not. In the aftermath of this sad event, the Osaka City Council announced plans to build a new Ebisubashi Bridge which would make jumping (and falling) into the river more difficult; construction began in 2004. The Curse of the Colonel is, it seems, more deadly than other famous sports curses. Something to think about the next time you're tempted to complain about KFC!

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