MLB Baseball
Image: MLB

You're probably aware, but a lot of Switch owners have been enjoying Pokémon Legends: Arceus over the past couple of weeks, with social media full of people sharing mini reviews, references, cute things or just general lore. One cool instance we've seen (hat-tip Kotaku) is Japanese fans convinced that a particular Trainer's motion when throwing a Poké-ball is mimicking a popular Japanese baseball pitcher.

Spoilers follow for a Battle in the game, keep reading at your own risk.

In a showdown with traveling merchant Volo he does a rather extravagant hitch before pitching the ball (baseball style) into the battle. The distinctive style had a number of Japanese fans taking to the web to talk about it as a potential homage to Hisashi Iwakuma, particularly from early in his career playing in Japan. His career included an excellent spell with Seattle Mariners in MLB, though by that stage his action had evolved.

You can see the pitching actions, from Volo and Iwakama-san himself, in the videos below.

It seems pretty close, if not identical, but we'll also happily bow to the expertise of Japanese fans that know the player best.

Pokémon, as a franchise, has had lots of references and crossovers with baseball over the years, which is unsurprising due to how hugely popular the sport is in Japan. Below is a fun clip from Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, which is proper baseball.