Nootbaar still basking in afterglow of amazing World Baseball Classic

OAKLAND, Calif. — Lars Nootbaar had a truly one-of-a-kind experience in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. As the sole American on Team Japan, the outfielder batted lead-off for a lineup that tore through the tournament, first in Tokyo and then in Miami. The Southern California native hit .269, helping Japan remain undefeated in seven games, […]

A’s move Japanese rookie Fujinami to bullpen

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Oakland Athletics rookie pitcher Shintaro Fujinami is being moved to the bullpen after struggling in his first four major league starts. A’s manager Mark Kotsay said before the April 24 game against the Los Angeles Angels that the Japanese right-hander would be available for relief duty starting April 25. Fujinami is 0-4 […]

Ohtani smashes HR during Nichi Bei Day with the A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Nichi Bei Foundation held their “Nichi Bei Day with the A’s” fundraiser as the Oakland Athletics played against 2021 American League MVP Shohei Ohtani and the visiting Los Angeles Angels April 2. The 950 attendees who purchased tickets through the nonprofit received a T-shirt with rookie Oakland Athletics pitcher Shintaro Fujinami’s […]

Kwan proudly represents his Japanese heritage … just not in the World Baseball Classic

Steven Kwan exploded onto the Major League Baseball landscape last April, sparking national headlines in his dazzling debut with the Cleveland Guardians. In a feat accomplished by no other player since 1901, he reached base 15 times in his first four games, good for a scorching .692 batting average. Striding toward pitchers from the lefty […]

Shintaro Fujinami ready to get started in majors with A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. — In beautifully spoken English, Shintaro Fujinami formally introduced himself then asked that everyone simply call him “Fuji.” “Like Mt. Fuji,” he explained. And, nope, he’s never been. In Japan, he is more formal, going by Shintaro, but he figures this will make it easy on everybody as he embarks on his U.S. […]

The year of the Nikkei baseball player

When you think of players of Japanese descent in the major leagues, many iconic names come to mind: Nomo, Ichiro, Matsui, Ohtani. Before them Masanori Murakami, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, who only played two seasons in the majors. Murakami, or “Mashi,” as he was called, broke the majors’ trans-Pacific barrier in 1964, […]

16-year veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki retires where he started

OAKLAND, Calif. — Concluding a 16-year major league career, Japanese American catcher Kurt Suzuki of the Los Angeles Angels caught his final pitch where his big league career started — at the Oakland Coliseum. Two weeks before the end of the season, the former All Star and 2019 World Series champion announced his retirement. He […]

Suzuki to retire after A’s series

ARLINGTON, Texas  — Veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki of the Angels said winning the World Series with Washington in 2019 was a big factor in the 38-year-old’s decision to retire after the season, the Associated Press reported Sept. 21. The 2014 All-Star, 38, said spending more time with his children was equally important. A native of […]

Yankees, Japanese Americans square off against A’s

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Coliseum always seems to buzz with extra energy when the New York Yankees come to town. Their visit to Oakland to play the Athletics for a four-game set in late August was no exception, as attendance during the series was more than double the Oakland Coliseum’s average attendance. New York […]

Ohtani powers Angels to victory on Nichi Bei Day

The Nichi Bei Foundation held its annual Nichi Bei Day with the Oakland A’s on May 15. The A’s hosted the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum, and the game featured the reigning American League MVP for the Angels, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani has marveled fans as a two-way star in the Major Leagues as […]