When Hideo Nomo exploited a contractual loophole to transfer from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) to Major League Baseball in 1994, he provided the catalyst for change in the relationship between individual players and teams in Japan’s number one sport. Nomo’s ‘defection’ changed player/team attitudes as emphasis shifted from one of mutual trust to one based heavily on contracts. The Japanese version of sportsmanship until that point had been one that relied on the loyalty of players to a paternal and protective owner. The mutual trust established through a combination of loyalty and obligation was not unique to baseball, rather it should be seen as a reflection of many aspects of Japanese culture. By the turn of the century, baseball in Japan has changed greatly and this is especially so for not only labour relations in NPB but also High School Baseball. In 2007, it was revealed that 7921 high school players had been given illegal financial assistance causing a scandal that had repercussions throughout Japanese society. This paper investigates the implications of this change, particularly on NPB. The analysis extends to consider the broader effects this event had on baseball, especially within the Japanese education system.