Lars Nootbaar has broken out as an unlikely star for Team Japan at the World Baseball Classic and his pepper-grinder celebration has been a hit with fans at the tournament.
However, any Japanese high school baseball looking to emulate the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder in their own games will not be able to. A player at Tohoku High School twisted his hands in a motion similar to that of Nootbaar, and was told by the umpire to stop.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Hiroshi Sato, the manager of the high school team, defended the player after Yamanashi Gakuin Senior High School defeated his team.
“It’s so popular the whole nation is talking about it,” Sato was quoted as saying in Japanese media. “The children are just having fun. Why do adults have to put a stop to it?
“We should be thinking more about how children can freely enjoy baseball.”
The Japan High School Baseball Federation commented on the celebration as well.
TREA TURNER’S EIGHTH INNING GRAND SLAM PUTS TEAM USA IN WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC SEMIFINALS
“We have always asked high school baseball to abstain from unnecessary performances and gestures. We understand the players’ feelings of wanting to have fun, but the federation believes the fun should come from the game,” the organization said.
Nootbaar’s pepper-grinder celebration was a hit in Japan’s five games at the Tokyo Dome, with cameras often catching Nootbaar’s teammates making the gesture as well.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Nootbaar is a member of the Cardinals and is the first to play for Japan’s national team by virtue of ancestry. His mother is Japanese.
He is hitting .368 with three RBI in five games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Blue sky over the stadium during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west
France s forward 10 Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring his team s second goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at
Cristiano Ronaldo has traveled home to join his national side for international duty. The UEFA Euro Qualifiers are set to begin today and tonight Portugal will
British tennis stars Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray lost in the opening round of the Miami Masters combined ATP and WTA event, losing to Bianca Andree