NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Lars Nootbaar gives pep talk speech before game with Italy

Ahead of the quarterfinal WBC game between Japan and Italy, Japanese-American sensation Lars Nootbaar gave the pep talk to get the team amped.


Lars Nootbaar is the first non-Japan-born player to play for the Japan national baseball team as well as the only player in the World Baseball Classic to play for a country in which he didn’t grow up. Despite that, the team has fully embraced the Cardinals outfielder as he has made clutch hits and went 6 for 14 with two stolen bases and four walks but just three strikeouts in their four first-round games. They even wore T-shirts with “Tachan”, Nootbar’s nickname, written in Japanese in the first round of games.

Nootbaar was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but his mother is from Higashi-Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture. His full name is Lars Taylor-Tatsuji Nootbaar.

Nootbaar gives pep talk ahead of game with Italy

Japan just beat Italy 9-3 in the quarterfinals of the WBC today, becoming the first team to reach the semifinals in all five tournaments, as they look for their third World Baseball Classic title. They could also become the second team to go undefeated, joining the Dominican Republic team from 2013.

Ahead of the game, Nootbaar gave a pep talk to his teammates as his interpreter/translator gave them the translation. (Nootbaar is trying to learn Japanese, but it is “tough to learn a language in a month”.)

“Let’s go, boys. We got three games left, but only today takes us to Miami. Let’s play loose, let’s play with some swag, and let’s play our game, so we can be partying on the plane tonight!”

His speech was met with laughter and cheers as he says some final phrases in Japanese and they get ready to take the field. It’s clear he’s been embraced with open arms in his new home with the Japan national team. Their victory over Italy takes Japan to the semifinals to play either Puerto Rico or Mexico on Monday, March 20 in Miami.


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?