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Matsutaro Shoriki

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Matsutaro Shoriki

[edit] Biographical Information

Matsutaro Shoriki was the the father of Japanese professional baseball. A media mogul, he owned the Yomiuri Shimbun, a newspaper and founded Japan's first commercial TV station, Nippon Television Network Corporation. He also was elected to the House of Representatives, appointed to the House of Peers and was one of the most successful judo masters ever, reaching the extremely rare rank of 10th Dan.

Shoriki organized an All-Star team in 1934 that matched up against an American All-Star team. While prior Japanese all-star contingents had dispanded, Shoriki went pro with this group, which eventually became known as the Yomiuri Giants. Shoriki had faced an assassination attempt from right-wing nationalists for allowing Americans to play in Jingu Stadium. Shoriki received a 16-inch-long scar from a broadsword during the assassination attempt.

Shoriki became the NPB's first commissioner in 1949. In 1950, Shoriki oversaw the realignment of the Japan Baseball League into its present two-league structure and the establishment of Japan Series. One goal Shoriki did not accomplish was a true world series. In 1959, he was the first inductee into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Matsutaro Shoriki Award is given annually to the person who contributes the most to Japanese baseball.

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