By now, it’s no secret that Lars Nootbaar‘s popularity has gone through the roof.
Already a favorite among St. Louis Cardinals fans, Nootbaar quickly became a global phenomenon when he joined Samurai Japan for the World Baseball Classic.
Japan won the title on Tuesday night with a 3-2 win over Team USA.
By the end of the tournament, Nootbaar even had people in Japan mimicking his “grind the pepper” celebration, which became a hit in 2022 with the Cardinals and their fans.
On Twitter, a Cardinals fan reacted to a tweet that showed the increase in Instagram followers among several WBC stars, with Nootbaar included, discussing how Nootbaar’s popularity in Japan will impact young children who look up to him.
Nootbaar's popularity in Japan is going to have a great effect on the Cardinals for years. There's going to be thousands of Japanese kids who are Cardinals fans just for him. Hopefully some of them get good and sign with the Cardinals one day. #stlcards https://t.co/ViXeOlULfE
— Rinedog (@Rinedog1) March 24, 2023
Nootbaar is of Japanese descent and always dreamed of playing for Team Japan in the WBC.
But with his participation in the tournament and his fun-loving personality on full display, the 25-year-old became a fan-favorite as he gained several admirers.
With the phenomenon expanding all the way to Japan, several young children will look up to Nootbaar, which could have a drastic positive effect on the Cardinals and their fanbase.
Their reach could expand well beyond the Midwest and the United States as a whole and could reach several different countries throughout the world.
The team had 17 players competing in the Classic, with Giovanny Gallegos and JoJo Romero representing Mexico, Genesis Cabrera representing the Dominican Republic, and Tommy Edman representing South Korea.
With Nootbaar’s popularity growing, great things could be coming for the Cardinals.NEXT: Cardinals Analyst Calls Out Team's Starting Pitching Depth