Japan opens baseball season after 3-month pandemic delay

After a three-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the world's second-most famous baseball league opened a season Friday that will be shortened from its regular 143 games to 120.

'œI'm very happy, very excited about today's game,' said Venezuela-born Alexander Ramirez, the manager of the Yokohama BayStars.

In the Tokyo Dome, the local Yomiuri Giants faced the Hanshin Tigers.

The stadium in Yokohama, which is the venue for next year's Olympic baseball final, was typical of the atmosphere.

Seats behind the plate and down the baselines were covered with 5,000 large panels, most carrying faces of fans with various goodwill messages.

Michael Peoples, an American who was scheduled to start for Yokohama on Saturday against Hiroshima, moved this season as a free agent from the Cleveland Indians organization.

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