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WBC: Nomo to throw out 1st pitch before Japan's semifinal

Hideo Nomo (Mainichi)

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) -- Hideo Nomo will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday's World Baseball Classic semifinal between Japan and the United States at Dodger Stadium.

    Nomo began his major league career here with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 after fleeing Nippon Professional Baseball's Kintetsu Buffaloes through a loophole.

    His first big league manager, Tommy Lasorda, will catch the ceremonial pitch before Samurai Japan seeks to return to the WBC finals for the first time since it won the 2009 tournament.

    Although he was vilified by NPB and the Japanese media before his success with the Dodgers spawned "Nomomania," Nomo went on to throw one no-hitter in each league, pitched 12 seasons in the major leagues and was elected into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

    Nomo is currently working for the San Diego Padres.

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