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Japan ready to write new story

Defending champs looking forward to matchup with Team USA at WBC semifinals

Originally Published: March 19, 2009
By Jorge Arangure Jr. | ESPN The Magazine

SAN DIEGO -- As a young boy, Japanese manager Tatsunori Hara often raced to the library after school to read his favorite book: the biography of former American slugger Babe Ruth.

Hara idolized the bombastic American icon, and the tales of Ruth begat a love of baseball that carried Hara through a 15-year playing career with the Tokyo Giants, and later a managerial career with those same Giants.

Even now, Hara modestly smiles at the thought of those days as a boy spent learning about ...

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