Lars Nootbaar will be making history this spring.
When the World Baseball Classic makes its triumphant return, the St. Louis Cardinals young outfielder will become the first American-born player to suit up for Team Japan, very similarly to his teammate Tommy Edman, who will represent Team Korea.
But this has been a dream of Nootbaar’s since he was a child.
The 25-year-old is of Japanese descent, with his mother being a native of Japan.
On Twitter, a wholesome video of Nootbaar at the age of nine can be found, with him expressing his desire to play for the Japanese National Team.
Lars Nootbaar on wanting to represent Japan since childhood. 🇯🇵
No, the first 12 seconds definitely didn’t make me cry. Not at all.
— Shawn (@Shawn_Spradling) February 2, 2023
If you’re on Twitter, this may be the best thing you’ll see all day.
Nootbaar had a dream to be a part of Team Japan as a young child.
On March 8, when the Classic finally gets underway, he’ll get a chance to live out that dream.
This is something that has been on Nootbaar’s mind for some time.
In the video, Nootbaar shared that he had been in contact with Shohei Ohtani‘s interpreter, who had also been in contact with Hideki Kuriyama, Team Japan’s manager.
Nootbaar was fortunate enough to have a connection with Kuriyama, who reached out to ask if the outfielder was eligible to play in the WBC, as well as gauge his interest.
Fortunately, this opened the door for Nootbaar to get a chance to live out his dream and compete with Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic.
He’ll be one of seven Cardinals players to compete in the tournament.NEXT: Cardinals Announce Exciting News For 2023