Former Lewis-Clark State College baseball player Kozo “Toshi” Sasa has been selected as the representative from Japan to be an MLB Network “Cave Dweller” for the World Baseball Classic.
MLB Network has received a great deal of attention the past two baseball seasons for its MLB Fan Cave, a dwelling in New York City’s Times Square that houses a dozen rabid baseball fans to watch every regular-season and postseason game during the spring and summer, with visits from baseball and entertainment notables along the way.
The network is launching a World Baseball Classic edition of the Fan Cave for this month, with a native of each of the 16 competing nations/territories staying in the Cave to watch each game of the tournament, which runs through March 19.
Sasa, 32, lives in Osaka, Japan after the end of his professional baseball career, which included stops with three independent league teams across the U.S. and Canada.
Sasa was an outfielder at LCSC during the 2004 and 2005 seasons after transferring from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa.
He hit .243 in 20 games (eight starts) as a junior in 2004, with two doubles and five RBI.
As a senior, Sasa raised his batting average to .304 in 14 games, including two starts in right field. He hit two home runs and drove in eight runs for the Warriors in 2005.
The Fan Cave members will only stay as long as their country’s team is playing in the tournament. The fans of the final four teams will travel to the Championship Round in San Francisco on March 17-19.
Sasa’s chances of staying in the Fan Cave are pretty good considering Japan is the two-time defending World Baseball Classic Champion and is currently 2-0 in its pool. To follow the Classic visit: www.worldbaseballclassic.com.
The Fan Cave, which has featured visits from over 400 celebrities and nearly 200 current Major Leaguers, has 1.2 million combined followers from 129 countries and territories on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information about it visit: www.mlbfancave.com.