Why do Japanese baseball uniforms use English lettering?
If you’ve ever looked at Japanese baseball cards, you might have wondered why the team and players names are printed in English letters on the team uniforms. The Japanese Baseball Cards blog has an interesting discussion of the question, along with some cool photos:
The first professional baseball team in Japan was founded in late 1934 and called the “Dai Nippon Tokyo Yakyu Kurabu” (the great Japan Tokyo baseball club). …
The team spend the 1935 season barnstorming in the US. They were fairly successful, winning 93 of 102 games against semi-pro and Pacific Coast League teams. According to Reaves – “The only minor drawbacks to the team’s popularity in the States were their kanji characters and their cumbersome Japanese name. They rectified both by renaming themselves the Tokyo Giants and adopting a uniform identical to the New York Giants…”