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Japanese Superstar Treats Czech Opponent to 2 Large Candy Bags 24 Hours After Striking His Knee With 101 Mph Pitch

Published 03/13/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

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Baseball is a game that unites all. With every pitch thrown and every ball sent soaring out of the park, the roar of the crowd is synonymous with what every player in the ballpark is feeling at that moment. In the World Baseball Classic showdown between Japan and the Czech Republic, the first-timers proved to be formidable in their own right. The game was full of flustering moments. The Czech team gained an early lead and, in a moment of blazing glory, their pitcher Ondrej Satoria struck out the legendary Shohei Ohtani.

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However, despite the Czech team’s valiant efforts, Japan eventually found its groove and, in the end, emerged as victors. Talking about flustering moments, during a defensive play, pitcher Rouki Sasaki’s 101 mph fastball hit Czech batter William Escala in the knee, causing him to double over in pain. However, the moment passed, and the game went on, but Sasaki appeared to feel rueful at the moment and it seems like he didn’t forget about it.

What the World Baseball Classic is all about!


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Baseball is not only about the adrenaline-fueled moments on the field, but it’s also about the relationships that players form with each other. So, let’s take a step back and talk about the third day of the championship. In one breath-hitching moment, pitcher Rouki Sasaki threw a fastball that hit batter William Escala right in the knee, causing him to crumple in pain to the ground. Sasaki looked genuinely concerned, but the game eventually resumed.

And it seems like the pitcher couldn’t shake off the feeling that he had to make things right. So, on Japan’s day off, in a wholesome moment, he woke up early and waited outside the Czech team’s hotel for Escala to emerge. When he finally did, the Japanese athlete personally apologized to him and bought him two bags of candy.


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The good-natured athletes posed for a photograph together, smiling as if they were old friends. The Czech player was holding onto the huge bags of candy that Sasaki had bought him. It was a heartwarming moment that showed that even in the most competitive of environments, sportsmanship and respect are what truly matter. Injuries are a part of the game, and both players knew that accidents can happen at any time. They for sure didn’t take it to heart!

A quick glance at what happened during the game

Even though Escala looked okay in the picture with the Japanese pitcher, the Czech hitter was badly hit by Sasaki’s pitch. A video of the same is doing rounds on the internet. Taking to Twitter, the official account of the Czech Republic team shared the video. Have a look at it:


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When talking about the Czech team, they are one of the few teams that always bring positive energy to the ballparks. For the unversed, almost the entire Czech players have a day job. If not for Eric Sogard, who has spent over 11 years in MLB, all Czech players have a day job. The rest of the team has been formed by minor leaguers, college players, firefighter, sales manager, and whatnot.

Whether this Czech team wins the title in the ongoing WBC, they have already won the hearts of millions of baseball fans because of their sheer dedication toward the game.


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Written by:

Garima Verma


One take at a time

Garima is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. She has recently graduated as a Master's student in Media and Communications. She is an avid reader and an ardent cinema fan.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar