So Taguchi: Premier Japanese-born Player to Win Two World Series
For a sport that is native in America, the Minor and the Major League have always been a home to many American baseball players. While this is true for the most part, the league is not a stranger to many exotic looking individuals, ostensibly imports from many other countries.
With Japan seemingly having adopted the sport from the Yanks, the country is not new with baseball. For this reason, a small portion of different-looking players in the Minor and Major League are actually from Japan via the so-called posting system.
Yet for something so few, these Japanese players who made it into the Major League are not your run-off-the-mill baseball players from the far east. In fact, this was so true, a good number of these players—if not all of them—make a name for themselves in the major league in the US.
Perhaps of these unique-looking players, marked by their black hairs, is a player by name of So Taguchi—the first of his kind to have won two World Series on two different teams.
But even before an Asian man set his foot for a league abroad, Taguchi has had his beginnings in his native country of Japan first—initially, as a player for the Orix BlueWave for 9 long years.
Like himself, a fellow Japanese player and team-mate at BlueWave, Ichiro Suzuki, also made it into the MLB following a stint in the Nippon Professional Baseball.
Back in Japan, Taguchi plays the role of an infielder during defensive plays but was later on moved to the outfielder position.
Almost an expert in the sport yet very experienced, So decided to flew to the US to play for the MLB which debuted on 2002.
Back then 33 years of age, Taguchi signed for the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent. With the Cardinals not known for getting imported players, So Taguchi was the first Japanese-born to play for the team.
Taguchi spent most of his overseas career with the Louis Cardinals, lasting him 5 years.
Following a legal dispute with the Cardinals, Taguchi was let go. Continuing in his career in the Major League, he signed a 1-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. But with a declined performance than his previous years, the Japanese player was not able to extend his stay with the Phillies.
From the Major League, So chose to go for the Minor League after signing a contract with the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
Moving back to his home country, Taguchi played the professional sport on his last try with the Orix Buffaloes which lasted him 2 seasons until he called it quits in 2011.
As of 2016, Taguchi plays a role of a coach for the Buffaloes.
(Interested in getting the same jersey that So Taguchi wore back with the Orix BlueWave? Get one for your size here at Boriz Jersey!)