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Japanese Professional Baseball League

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While amateur baseball had long been popular in Japan, the first professional circuit was not formed until 1936. That year the Japanese Professional Baseball League (also known as Japanese Baseball League, Nippon no Puro Yakyu Rigu or Nippon No Yakyu Rigu) was set up. In the first three years they made up for lost time by playing six seasons, with spring and fall seasons each year. In 1939 the seasons was condensed into one per year. The 1944 campaign was cut short and 1945 was eliminated altogether due to World War II. After the War, no American played in Japan until 1951 when Wally Yonamine integrated Japanese baseball. In 1950 the JPBL ended and was replaced by the Central League and Pacific League.

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