Has everyone else ever thought about how the traditional World Series isn’t really a world series at all? The title presumes that there are no other baseball teams in the world. It’s time to step out of our little bubble and take on some overseas challengers.
Japan’s league, Nippon Professional Baseball, is the second best baseball league in the world. The league is home to numerous former MLB players, and it is the source of many famous Japanese players like Ichiro. The league plays from March to October. They use similar rules to Major League Baseball with only some minor changes, none of which are all that game-breaking. Their league even parallels MLB in that only have the NPB teams use designated hitters. The two leagues are much more similar than many American fans might think.
So why should the World Series champion play the Japan Series champion? For one, it would thoroughly legitimize whichever team won this intercontinental series. It would not have any serious logistical obstacles since both leagues play during the same months. The series could happen in late November and be played over seven games. Transportation may be a problem, but the series could either take place over a longer period of time than a conventional 7-game series or simply take place entirely in one country one year and the other country the next.
I think the game of baseball needs something like this. In America, baseball is starting to lose its place as the favorite sport of younger generations, but in Japan, baseball is the sport. A spark is needed. A Trans-Pacific Championship series would be highly attended on both fronts, and it would bring a new feeling of globalization to America’s great pastime which is beginning to seem out-of-touch and boring to millennials.