A notable Japanese cartoonist Shinji Mizushima is one of the league's backers.
During the baseball season, Mizushima regularly sits down to work from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then watches baseball games at night. He also owns an amateur baseball team and played 110 games in his spare time last year.
His comic series "Dokaben," a story of high school baseball and pro baseball, and "Abu-san," which depicts a fictitious character from Niigata who plays for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, have run for more than 30 years.He also has a wide circle of friends in the baseball community, including Hawks skipper Sadaharu Oh and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles manager Katsuya Nomura.
"Baseball is everything in my life. It's the way I live my life," Mizushima said.