Johjima's game expected to translate well

Originally Published: November 21, 2005
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
Kenji Johjima is enough of a mystery in the United States that he was two weeks into his free-agent tour before American media outlets began spelling his surname correctly. Somewhere between Fukuoka and Seattle, the "h" in the middle accidentally took a hike.

Now that Johjima is signed, spelled and delivered -- having agreed to terms on a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Mariners -- here's a mini-primer on baseball's newest Japanese import:

Kenji Johjima
Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesJohjima was a catcher for his entire 11-year career in Japan.
Johjima is 29 years old and comes from the Japanese coastal town of Sasebo, located between Fukuoka and Nagasaki on the map. He's married with two children and is a "country boy" at heart, in the words of agent Alan Nero. After baseball, Johjima's second-favorite pursuit is fishing.

Jerry Crasnick | email MLB Sr. Writer