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Patrick Newman

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Following Japanese Baseball, Part 2: Pro Yakyu Communities

by Patrick Newman (Mar 6, 2014)

This is part 2 in a multi-part series. Part one on English-language news sources and blogs on Japanese baseball can be found here.

Back in the nascent years of Pro Yakyu otaku-ism, when I was interested in Japanese baseball but lacked the requisite language skills, I had one source of information: JapaneseBaseball.com. I discovered it one day in 1997 or '98, when I decided to type japanesebaseball.com into Netscape's location bar and see if there was anything there. To my great benefit, there was, and over the years I learned a lot from reading through the forum postings.

Communities are important; no one has a monopoly on information and ideas. This site is kind of like my own monologue but it's benefited from the discussion contributions of commenters like passerby, EJH, and Westbaystars, to name a few; and the other writers who have written articles for the site. At it's peak, JapaneseBaseball.com was a shining example of an online community, with many engaged posters, thoughtfully moderated by Westbaystars.

JapaneseBaseball.com's forums haven't gone away, but they aren't quite as active as they once were. Over the past year or so, a couple of alternatives have emerged:

  • The Pro Yakyu Google group, curated by Michael Westbay. This group is open to the public, and I am member. This is a great way to stay on top of NPB news and podcasts.
  • An NPB Reddit community popped up last July probably in the last month or two (I discovered it via referral traffic). In addition to news postings, there are some community-oriented topics like this one.

It takes real work to maintain an online community, so my appreciation goes out to Westbay-san and the mystery man who moderates NPB Reddit. If you're looking for more places to keep up with Japanese baseball, I heartily recommend all of the above options.

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