Giants of baseball reunite to plan off-season opportunities

14 Mar 2023
Japan’s most successful baseball team is a step closer to establishing South Australia as their off-season training destination.
Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion is meeting the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Giants to build on the team’s growing relationship with the State, as part of a key South Australian Government trade mission to Japan this week.
Adelaide Giants officials will join the Minister in-person, as ties between the two squads develop further, to make their pitch that SA can help the Japanese powerhouse achieve future success in the Nippon Baseball League.
Discussions will explore opportunities to host teams at pre-season camps in Adelaide, establish an off-season playing and development program, and further grow grassroots baseball in schools.
The Yomiuri Giants hold a record 22 championships with one of the biggest and most passionate fan bases across any sport in Japan – securing the squad in Adelaide during Japan’s off-season would deliver a significant trade, investment and tourism boost.
The Adelaide Giants have just ended a 43-year drought after winning the Australian Baseball League Championship, sparking a surge of public interest in the sport.
The meeting coincides with seven Adelaide Giants’ players representing Australia in Tokyo at the World Baseball Classic – where Australia has advanced to the tournament’s quarter-finals for the first time, a further demonstration of the State’s world-class talent which has also seen two of the Giants’ players Curtis Mead and Logan O’Hoppe crack Major League Baseball’s Top 100 Prospect Rankings.
The partnership between the two cities highlights the value of ongoing sports diplomacy with the world’s third-largest economy.
Outcomes already achieved include the Yomiuri Giants sending a team of experts to gain insight into how local clubs, including the Adelaide Giants and Adelaide Crows, operate and train, along with attracting 70 students from some of Japan’s top universities to compete in a Junko baseball series against young SA talent.