If you don’t come back in 2026, you’ll get it back!”

The Japanese World Baseball Classic (WBC) team won 3-2 against the US national team held at Londi Po Park in Miami, Florida on the 22nd (Korean time), and won the championship trophy for the first time in 14 years since 2009. Lifted. The results of the WBC, which started in 2006, were win-win-3rd-3rd-win, proving once again that Japan is the best in the world.

In the Japanese national team, there is a player who played in the national team uniform despite not being Japanese and contributed greatly to the championship. That’s Lars Nuthba playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. In the case of the WBC, parents’ nationality can participate in the national team, but Nutba, who has a Japanese mother, is the first in Japanese history to participate in the Japanese national team even as a ‘foreigner’.

Nutba did not show an impressive appearance in the final match with the United States and the semi-final match with Mexico, but showed off a hot blow until the Group B league and the quarterfinals. And in the face-to-face match with Korea, he even showed off a solid defense, such as catching hits with a diving catch. As for the WBC record, he participated in 7 games and recorded 7 hits, 4 RBIs, 7 runs, a batting average of 0.269 (7 hits in 26 at-bats), and an OPS of 0.693.

Nutba melted into the national team better than the existing Japanese players. Nutba spread the ‘Pepper Grinder’ ceremony, which he used to do in St. Louis, to the Japanese national team and made all the players follow it. And based on his outstanding performance in the group stage, he even captivated the fans at once. Every time Nutba entered the plate, the Tokyo Dome poured out as hot cheers as when Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) appeared.

According to Japan’s ‘Sports Hochi’ on the 24th, Nutba revealed the ‘behind story’ of receiving a high-end watch from Ohtani after the WBC. Ohtani is the number one contributor to helping Nutba play for the Japanese national team. While Nutba was playing for St. Louis last year, he received a surprise call from Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s interpreter. Mizuhara extended a helping hand both physically and mentally, such as helping Nutba prepare documents so that he could participate as a member of the Japanese national team. Ohtani is also the first person to hold a ‘pepper grinder’ ceremony to adapt to Nutba.

‘Sports Hochi’ said, “Before Nutba left the team, he received a gift from Ohtani,” and said, “It is a watch from Japan’s finest brand, Grand Seiko.” The ‘Grand Seiko’ watch is the highest grade watch in the Seiko brand, ranging from a minimum of several million won to a maximum of 50 million won. Ohtani is currently working as a model for Seiko in Japan. Ohtani made one ‘condition’ when presenting a Grand Seiko watch to Nutba. It was to ask the Japanese team to attend the WBC, which is scheduled to be held in 2026.

According to ‘Sports Hochi’, Nutba laughed broadly, saying, “Otini said, ‘If you don’t compete in the 2026 WBC, or represent another country, you’ll get your gift back.'” Continuing, he continued, “I don’t think I’ll ever go to the WBC except for the Japanese national team.메이저놀이터 Now that I feel a strong bond with Japan, I can’t represent another country anymore. I want to speak Japanese a little better when I’m selected in three years.” We were able to become close friends. I hope he thinks so too. I already miss Ohtani.”

Whether the promise made by Ohtani and Nutba can be kept is expected to be confirmed at the 2026 WBC.

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