Mashi: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer by Robert Fitts. University of Nebraska Press. 256 Pages, $28.95. Fitts — whose previous books on the game in the Land of the Rising Sun include Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball (2008) and the award-winning Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, […]
Books have been written about the use of baseball as an imperialist tool by the United States. We send people to foreign countries; they bring baseball with them, and pretty soon the residents of those foreign have embraced the game to a degree even more enthusiastic than back in the good ole U.S.A. Case in […]
Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]
Two pieces from Kris Kosaka in The Japan Times on the “national game there and here. First she tells us about Robert Fitts’ new biography on Masanori Murakami, the first baseball player from Japan to play for a Major League team in the U.S. when he appeared for the San Francisco Giants in 1965. Then […]
Since I posted the first of these last Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. As a reminder, I highly recommend Pocket as a way to hold onto links you come that you want to keep. Unlike bookmarks, Pocket […]
I hope that means “hooray!” You never know how things might change subtly with Google translate. Anyway, this comes from the Anime News Network (“The Internet’s most trusted anime news source”): Takuya Mitsuda will continue his long-running Major manga series on Shogakukan‘s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine in March. This will be the first new chapter […]
On this date 1936: The first professional baseball game played in the Japanese Baseball League. Nagoya defeats Dai Tokyo, 8 – 5. You Gotta Have Wa* Sayonara Home Run!: The Art of the Japanese Baseball Card* Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game (Writing Baseball) Born this date 1947: Tom House, pitcher The […]
I originally posted this on my blog about Jews and sports since Youkilis is one of the handful of Jewish players, but there’s enough book/movie/collectibles that I can kill two birds with one stone, so… * * * Thanks to Robert Whiting, I have been able to find a way to keep tabs on Kevin […]
With Kevin Youkilis trading places with new Yankees acquisition Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, I was curious as to how he would adjust to the new culture. Sometimes it work, as in the case of Warren Cromartie; sometimes it doesn’t, as was the case for Jake Elliot (although he did, finally, […]
To paraphrase a Groucho Marx line (and with all due respect to the PETA faction), you can’t swing a dead cat (if that’s your idea of a good time) at the annual SABR conference without hitting a baseball writer. While in Philadelphia, I caught up with a few of them (writers, not cats) to see […]
by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder (2003; Picador Translation 2009) I can’t even remember where I heard of this title but I’m glad I did. Ogawa tells a touching story about a Japanese housekeeper, her 10-year-old son, and her professional charge, a former mathematics professor with an unusual disability, which was the result of […]
As in Robert, author of Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball and Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game. In this guest entry on the UNP website, Fitts writes about an American barnstorming team visit the baseball-crazy nation.
This travel piece from the July 5 edition of The New York Times includes a quote from Robert Whiting, an author on Japanese baseball. He recently published an updated version of the classic book on the topic, You Gotta Have Wa.
Seems Yonamine was sort of the Jackie Robinson of Japanese baseball. This review comes from The Hardball Times.
From mentalfloss.com: If there’s one author who bridges the cultural divide between the United States and Japan, it’s Haruki Murakami. The 60-year-old Kyoto native started writing relatively late in life, at age 29, and it was America’s national pastime that inspired him. While attending a baseball game in Tokyo, Murakami saw American Dave Hilton hit […]
“Oregon Nisei Baseball — The Early Years” exhibit featuring black-and-white images of Nisei teams and Northwest baseball tournaments. Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center: 121 N.W. Second Ave. (503-224-1458) Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tue-Sat, noon-3 p.m. Sun. Opening reception 1:30 p.m. Sun, Sept. 14; through Jan. 11, 2009. From the Web site: In celebration of the 10th […]