Prior to the establishment of Professional Baseball in Japan for the 1936 season, the University League of Tokyo was considered the highest level of baseball in the country. Even today, with a thriving professional game, there remains an enthusiastic fan base for amateur baseball throughout Japan.
Our "American Ball" (as it was typically marked) of the University League is a carefully crafted re-creation, made in the same style that would have been used during by the league during the 1920s and 30s. An era that brought in many teams of US All Stars for exhibition play against the best teams and players in Japan. This style of ball would have been used in those games. The traveling exhibitions were another outlet for the US to promote its national game, and international good will, through sport. Considering the fervor surrounding baseball in Japan at that time, and the fact that it already had deep roots into Japanese culture for decades, we can only imagine how competitive those games must have been.
The design of the ball itself is inspired by vintage examples in our own collection of Japanese baseballs. While certainly familiar, the Japanese baseballs of the 1920s would have felt slightly different in their day. While US supplied baseballs were covered with horsehide and sewn with thick thread to create a raised seam, the Japanese baseballs were covered in cow hide and sewn with a thinner thread. This creates a seam that lies flatter and thus feels smoother in the hand.
The league and measurement stamps are directly influenced by the vintage exemplars, and we felt it was only appropriate to redesign our own logo for these baseballs in the Japanese style. Baseball (one word) in Japan is known as "Yakyū". Since we use the older style Base Ball in our name, we've adopted the synonymous term "Bēsubōru" into our name. Introducing Huntington Bēsubōru Kaisha. Arigatō.
Available in pure white, or cream leather, with black and red hand sewn seams.
*Looking to have your order shipped outside of the US? Do not despair. International shipping orders are welcome. Please inquire for a custom shipping quote to your region.