Softball Great and Teeball Promoter Honored in Tokyo
Professor Tadashi Yoshimura of Waseda University joins NAFA Hall of Fame

300 well-wishers from softball, baseball and teeball communities gathered in Tokyo on Sunday, December 16, 2013, to celebrate induction of Professor Tadashi Yoshimura (68) of Waseda University to the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Hall of Fame, as the first winner from outside North America. (Photo by Masaru Kikuchi)

Professor Yoshimura has been involved in softball for over 60 years as an outstanding player, coach and one of Japan’s leading authorities on softball having published over 40 books, 50 instructional DVDs, and over 700 articles on related topics. He has influenced several generations of softball payers, not only in Japan, but also in China, Korea and Taiwan where his textbooks have been translated into the local language.

In addition to his storied career in softball, NAFA recognized his long and ongoing contribution to develop and promote teeball in Japan and Asia to consider his membership to NAFA Hall of Fame.

Teeball is an entry sport to baseball and softball for junior players, generally four to eight years old. The ball is placed on an adjustable tee atop the home plate at a suitable height for the batter to hit. The elimination of pitching allows children to participate without the fear of being hit by a pitched ball. Teeball develops the primary baseball skills of hitting, running, fielding and throwing. The players gain an understanding of the fundamental rules, which allows minimally competitive league play at all age levels.

No wonder, therefore, a number of renowned former professional baseball players in Japan including Hiroshi Arakawa, Toru Mori and Kenichi Yazawa help Professor Yoshimura’s initiative to promote teeball as an effective way for youngsters to learn baseball and softball. The sport is gaining popularity throughout Asia and Professor Yoshimura’s award this time will add momentum to the development of teeball and eventually baseball and softball in the region.

(By Baseball Federation of Japan)