I normally don't care or have any interest in Sports-related Anime, but this show was really, really good, since it was about so much more than just what happens on the baseball diamond, though there's plenty of that, too.
This isn't the first show to make me re-consider Sports anime, though. That would be Suzuka, which blew my socks off as a coming-of-age, slice-of-life High School romance cleverly disguised as a sports anime. Suzuka impressed me so much, I was willing to give Big Windup! a chance.
I think the fact that one of my most favorite male voice actors, Greg Ayres, voiced the main supporting character, Abe, is what kept me coming back for more, time and again. Abe is such a cool guy and such a loyal friend to Ren.
I also agree with other reviewers that Taijima is a great supporting character and comic relief...I've never heard so many masturbation jokes stuffed into one show! ;-D
I really love these characters and how they grow during the show. If FUNimation gets to dub the next season, I really hope there's a little more romantic action with the female characters we've met so far...Ren's sister (voiced by Monica Rial) and also the shy female team manager.
The show is very engaging and emotionally satisfying...though not unlike a real baseball game, some of the fictional games stretch on rather long...it all focuses mainly on the first game of the new season, when our heroes get stacked up against last year's championship winners...a team of seasoned upperclassman squaring off against a bunch of enthusiastic but totally noob freshmen...definitely a "root for the underdog" kind of story...