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Baseball, introduced to Japan by the United States in 1873, is the nation's most popular sport after sumo. Almost all senior high schools, universities and even major companies have teams of their own, with tournaments held twice a year, often on a nationwide scale.
Professional baseball is also very popular, with teams divided into two leagues (Central and Pacific), each with six teams. The season runs from April to October, with tickets available at ticket outlets like Ticket Pia or Playguide, as well as at the stadiums themselves.