Could rival aces Maeda and Tanaka finally face off?
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the Los Angeles Dodgers Masahiro Tanaka Authentic Jersey and New York Yankees renew an old rivalry during a mid-September interleague series this year, there is a distinct possibility that an entire country could be entranced.
That country would not necessarily be the United States.
If health prevails and stars align, there stands an outside chance that old middle school rivals and Japanese pitching stars Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees and Kenta Maeda of the Dodgers could face off against each other as pitchers. It has never happened.
Somehow, despite inspiring each other from opposite dugouts as kids, these two grand ships managed to keep passing each other in the night, at least when it came to a mound meeting.
Tanaka and Maeda knew each other’s accomplishments well, even if they didn’t quite know each other personally. They grew up attending nearby middle schools outside of Osaka and already were baseball royalty in the area at a young age. They didn’t become acquaintances until both turned professional in Japan.
When they were blossoming as http://www.authenticmetsshop.com/authentic-41-tom-seaver-jersey.html middle school stars, though, Tanaka was a star catcher of the area while Maeda was the stud pitcher.
In fact, it was Maeda who went on to play for Team Japan in tournaments in their age group. Tanaka did not.
“I’ve always thought that he was a good rival or somebody that I could match someday,” Tanaka said through an interpreter from Yankees camp. “But he was on a team that was able to go to the finals in tournaments, so that was part of the reason he was picked as the ace of Team Japan in the age group.”
Maeda said he did face Tanaka, the hitter, on a number of occasions. It was a matchup Maeda did not take lightly, and he considered those meetings as moments that sharpened his focus and, perhaps, made him a better pitcher because of it.
“It was a good stimulation Louis Williams Authentic Jersey to have,” Maeda said through his interpreter from Dodgers camp. “He was the one that definitely represented the class of ’88 so it was good to have him be the leader of that group.”
Maeda is not referring to any graduating class of 1988, but instead the year they both were born. Maeda’s birthday is April 11, while Tanaka was born on Nov. 1.
Not to be lost in translation is that they each thought the other was the standard to match.
Tanaka quickly raised the stakes when http://www.authenticrangersshop.com/authentic-28-dominic-moore-jersey.html he became a pitcher as his high school years approached and his profile exploded. But the change came when he moved to the northern part of Japan, some 900 miles away.
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