NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar – 27-year-old lefty pitcher Zaw Zaw Oo is considered the first professional baseball player from the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar.
He began playing at the age of 12 played and debuted on the Myanmar Men’s National Baseball Team at 17, under Japanese coach Toru Iwasaki, playing in the 2007 Southeast Asia Games in Thailand.
Oo has played in Japan’s professional Shikoku Island League Plus since 2013.
“I went to Japan in June 2013, drafted by the Kagawa Olive Guyners, courtesy of Mr Toru Iwasaki,” Oo told The Myanmar Times. “In 2016, I joined the Tokushima Indigo Socks. Last year I won two trophies with my team.”
Myanmar is currently unranked at the world level, having fallen out of the WBSC Baseball World Rankings in 2015.
“We need to introduce the sport to children including students, and build more [playing fields] and training grounds for new generation of baseball players.” Oo said. “We need to show that baseball is a viable sporting career…[to] inspire Myanmar youth to [play] baseball.”