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Game reinforces key cultural values

Originally Published: February 26, 2007
By Jim Allen | Special to ESPN.com

NAHA, Japan -- Things have come full circle. Nearly a century and a half after baseball's seeds first took hold in Asia, the game here is all grown up. Now, Major League Baseball is looking eastward for a windfall.

Asia's first pro league was founded in Japan in the 1930s, with South Korea following in 1982 and Taiwan in 1990. Though these three nations have led the way and are supplying players to the majors, the real question is whether China, with a population of 1.3 billion, can be brought ...

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