Welcoming Milan Prokop

日本語 | English

Last year’s WBC was a memorable event and Czech player Milan Prokop, who was active in the match against Japan, recently received an offer to join the Kanagawa Future Dreams of the BC League and came to Japan. Mr. Prokop is from Brno, Czech Republic, where our company has close relationship with, and was in the batter’s box in the top of the 9th inning during the game against Japan. We spoke with Mr. Prokop, who visited our company on March 6th, shortly after his arrival in Japan.


(You have accepted the team’s offer and decided to join. Please tell us the background behind that decision.)

My father was also a baseball player and is now a coach. My mother was worried about her son going to a faraway country, but both my father and mother strongly supported me to play baseball in Japan this time. My father’s style of playing baseball is similar to that of Japanese baseball, where the team aims to win, so he was very happy that I had the opportunity to try out Japanese baseball. I think that Japanese baseball has a style of baseball where fielding is very skillful and there is a lot to learn from. This is why I see the offer as an opportunity to improve myself in a way that is not just technical.

(How was last year’s WBC match against Japan?)

Even though we, the Czech team players, are amateurs with main jobs other than baseball, it was a very impressive experience to see the world’s best WBC Japan team treat us with such respect. It was a dream-like experience for me to be able to play against world-class players, such as pitcher Sasaki’s fastball and Ohtani’s huge home run against Australia. I also think it was a valuable opportunity for me to learn anew about what sports should be, not just about technique and strength, but also about respect for others. At the party held at the Czech Embassy after the match against South Korea, we were welcomed by many volunteers, including those from ORIZON Systems, who gave us encouragement for the subsequent match against Australia.

(How do you like Japan so far?)

First of all, I am overwhelmed by the modern cityscape of Tokyo. The Czech Republic is characterized by typical old European streets, such as Prague and my hometown of Brno, but Tokyo’s streets make me feel as if I visited a futuristic city. Personally, I am very interested in not only the richness of history, but also in what kind of economic activities are carried out in Japan as an economic powerhouse, and I want to learn about various aspects of the country in my spare moments from baseball practice.

(How is public interest in baseball in the Czech Republic?)

Before the WBC, it was not a very popular sport in the Czech Republic, but recently it seems that interest among the general public is increasing. The recent WBC match between Japan and the Europe team has been attracting so much attention that it was even broadcast on TV. I hope that someday I can become a presence that people will look back on and say, ‘This was when the love for baseball in the Czech Republic started.’

After the interview

Mr. Prokop, who is currently taking a leave of absence from university in Brno to challenge himself to join an Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team, is the second Czech player to play in a Japanese professional league, following Jakub Sládek, who previously played for Ishikawa Million Stars. (Mr. Ueyama, Kanagawa Prefectural Baseball Team). We hope that the interaction between Japan and the Czech Republic will further advance through sports. With the recent signing of an agreement for Air Services at the government level, we can now expect direct flights from Japan to Prague in the near future. It is fair to say that we have entered an era in which the two countries will become closer and closer.

Mr. Prokop was a little nervous as it was his first interview, but we were freshly impressed by the challenge of a young man who recently celebrated his 21st birthday. At ORIZON Systems, we wish Mr. Prokop all the best in his future endeavors, and all of our employees will continue to support him.