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A 50-Year-Old Japanese Baseball Record Unites Two American Pitchers

Jul 02, 2018 - The New York Times

Pitching has long been the pride of Japanese baseball. It is the only skill recognized with an annual award that predates its American counterpart. The Sawamura Award was first bestowed on Japan’s best pitcher in 1947, nine years before Don Newcombe of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the first Cy Young Award.

It is a novelty, then, that excellence in pitching has forged a bond between two American hurlers who have defined themselves in Nippon Professional Baseball, which is typically dominat...