Japanese baseball ‘Iron Man’ Kinugasa, son of African American, dead at 71

TOKYO — Hall of Famer Sachio Kinugasa, whose 2,215 consecutive games remain a Japanese record, died of colon cancer April 23 aged 71, people familiar with the matter said. Nicknamed “Iron Man,” Kinugasa played for the Hiroshima Carp from 1965 to 1987 and was the Central League’s 1984 MVP. He is tied for fifth in […]

‘Japanese Babe Ruth’ Shohei Ohtani dominant on the mound, at the plate

In his major league pitching debut in Oakland, Calif. and in his home pitching debut in Anaheim, Shohei Ohtani, the highly touted two-way player from Japan, earned the wins as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics, 7-4, on April 1 and again, 6-1, on April 8. Sandwiched between his wins, Ohtani belted three […]

‘New Asahi’ celebrate legacy of Japanese Canadian baseball legends

VANCOUVER, B.C. (Kyodo) — Koichi Kaminishi, the last living member of a storied Japanese Canadian baseball team active from 1914 until Canada’s mass incarceration of Japanese during World War II, reflected on the team and his wartime experiences at a celebration of his 96th birthday this month near Vancouver. The gathering, put on by a new […]

Slugging ace Ohtani signs with Angels

LOS ANGELES  — Shohei Ohtani, the two-way phenom known as “Japan’s Babe Ruth,”
has decided to join the Los Angeles Angels, his agent and the major league club announced Dec. 8. The move came after the 23-year-old Ohtani reportedly completed talks with the seven clubs in the running to sign the pitcher-outfielder earlier this week. “What mattered […]

Korean star Jae-Gyun Hwang powers his way to Giants history

In a dismal season, San Francisco Giants fans had a reason to celebrate June 28. Playing at home versus the Colorado Rockies, Jae-Gyun Hwang made history as the first Korea-born player to suit up for the Giants. In his major league debut, the 29-year-old infielder hit a dramatic, go-ahead home run in the sixth inning. […]

Ichiro Suzuki joins 3,000-hit club

DENVER, Colo. — Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki tripled on Aug. 7 and reached 3,000 career hits in the major leagues. The hit in the finale of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies tied Suzuki for 29th on the majors’ all-time hit list with Roberto Clemente. “The moment I did it, my teammates and […]

A Japanese hero, Ichiro surpasses Rose’s hits in front of fans

SAN DIEGO — By the time Miami Marlins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki glided up to the Petco Park plate in the top of the ninth inning of an eventual 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres, controversy and a little bitterness gave way to class, appreciation and adulation. Suzuki, who had legged out a first […]

Okinawa-born Dave Roberts introduced as first minority manager of L.A. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — Well into a 35-minute press conference announcing his arrival as the 10th manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Roberts was thrown a curveball. Flanked by the men who hired him  — Los Angeles General Manager Farhan Zaidi and President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman  — Roberts, who was born in Okinawa […]

CHAMPIONSHIP OF DESTINY: Lodi JACL Templars overcome uncertainty with victory

LODI, Calif. — It’s usually pretty hot during the summer in Lodi, but the temperature was nothing compared to the hot streak the Lodi JACL Templars went on during the 63rd annual California State AA Nisei Baseball tournament held in Lodi over Labor Day weekend. Four teams from Southern California — The Gardena Rebels, the […]

‘Mashi’ Murakami’s ‘meteoric rise’ in Japan and the U.S. in the mid-century

MASHI: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer By Robert Fitts (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2015, 256 pp., $28.95, hardcover) The San Francisco Giants’ Japanese Heritage Night at AT&T Park in late May of this year honored Norichika Aoki and Travis Ishikawa, two Japanese and Japanese American baseball […]

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