Clubs in Japan's top baseball league NPB are establishing women's teams

Clubs in Japan's top baseball league NPB are establishing women's teams
The plan is to participate in competitive tournaments in 2023. The Hanshin Tigers have already drafted 17 players.

The Yomiuri Giants are the latest Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team to have announced that they are launching a women's team. The club used an end-of-season event to introduce the first four players. The Giants' manager Tatsunori Hara, who led Samurai Japan to the 2009 World Baseball Classic title, delivered the club's caps to the four players.

Ayuri Shimano, the ace of Kobe Korio High School, said that joining the Yomiuri Giants will allow her to work hard and contribute to the development of women's baseball.

The Giants, who won a record 22 Japan Series titles, are considering an invitation to Spring Training for the four players.

Japan's women's professional baseball league was launched in 2009. Four teams competed in a 60-game regular season. The league has stopped activity after the 2019 season.

The Yomiuri Giants said they plan to have their team participate in an amateur baseball league within 2023.

Two more NPB clubs have established a women's team: the Saitama Seibu Lions and the Hanshin Tigers.

The Tigers have already selected 17 players and plan on participating in competitive tournaments starting in the spring of 2022.

Former Tiger Yuya Nohara will serve as the manager.

Japan is No.1 in WBSC Women's Baseball World Rankings and the six-time defending World Champions.