The Koshien Stadium Experience

Koshien Stadium

David Maher, a photo-journalist, is based in Japan. He has lived there for many years and is a keen observer of Japanese culture. He contributes to Japan Tourist, an English language website–a good source for what to see and do in Japan–on the beaten track or off. This week, my son Brian (a friend of […]

Masaichi Kaneda: The Emperor

Kaneda 400th Win

In Japan, during the 1950s and 1960s, Masaichi Kaneda, Shigeo Nagashima, Sadaharu Oh and Katsuya Nomura were the faces of professional baseball. Nagashima, a third baseman, and Oh, a first baseman, were power-hitting teammates for the Yankees of Japan, the Yomiuri Giants. Nomura was the home run-slugging catcher for the Nankai Hawks, and Masaichi Kaneda […]

Kazuhisa Inao: The Greatest “Big Game” pitcher in Japanese Baseball History

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Those of us who grew up during the ’50s in Japan all knew about Kazuhisa “Iron Man” Inao. In fact, he earned that nickname on his way to 276 career victories and a revered place in Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame. Victor Starffin and Tadashi “Bozo” Wakabayashi, great pitchers in their era, were now retired. […]

Yu Darvish: Dollars and Doubts

In 201, Yu Darvish became 1st NPB pitcher (since the start of the 2 league system) to pitch 5 straight seasons with an ERA under 2.

Everyone is now aware that the AL’s Texas Rangers won the bidding to negotiate with Yu Darvish for a mega-bucks contract. Yes, it appears that, barring a surprise, the Nippon Ham Fighters’ star pitcher will join the Rangers rotation for the foreseeable future. Total cost to the Rangers? In the neighborhood of $125 million. Of […]

Victor Starffin: The Greatest Pitcher in Japanese Baseball History?

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Victor Starffin, except for a fluke of history, might have been a member of the American baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first pitcher to win 300 games in Japanese baseball history, and was elected to the Japan Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1960. Much of his family history is speculative and disputed, […]

Valentine’s Day in Boston

In 2004, Valentine began his 2nd stretch as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball club in Japan. In 2005, the Marines beat the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for their first Pacific League pennant in 31 years.

  Bobby Valentine will now take the helm of the troubled ship that is the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are one of baseball’s most storied clubs, and it will take a leader with strong resolve to lead them. In Valentine, the Red Sox hierarchy has chosen well. Valentine has a history as a […]

History of Baseball: First Major League Player Born in China

Harry-Kingman

One of my brother’s friends in New York recently asked him if he knew of any Major League baseball players that were born in China. As it turns out, there is one, and his story is indeed stranger than fiction. Henry Lees “Harry” Kingman played for the New York Yankees in 1914. Only a “cup […]

History of Baseball: The Man From Maui

Wally Yonamine

A previous post about the great pitcher, Tadashi “Bozo” Wakabayashi, prompted an ongoing conversation about who is the greatest Hawaiian athlete of all time. There are many candidates… Buster Crabbe, Gerry Lopez, the legendary Duke Kahanamoku… and several other worthy athletes. For my money, the greatest athlete in the history of Hawaii is… the man […]

The History of How We Follow Baseball

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I stumbled across Philip Bump’s October 26th, 2011, article on “The History of How We Follow Baseball.” Absolutely fascinating! Philip Bump is a developer, strategist and writer from Washington, D. C. His article appeared in The Atlantic, and is an excellent read. It brought back memories of going to the local barbershop in Tennoji (south […]

History of Baseball: The Man From Hawaii

Bozo-Wakabayashi-620

On Wednesday, October 26th, Game 6 of the World Series 2011 was postponed due to rain. And, the article in this column about Goro Mikami struck a chord with American and Japanese baseball history enthusiasts. In fact, I received comments regarding the great Osaka Hanshin Tigers pitcher, also mentioned in the article, Tadashi “Bozo” Wakabayashi. […]