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By Robert Whiting

During this, the 1st e-book in acclaimed journalist Robert Whiting's trilogy on eastern baseball — "The Chrysanthemum and the Bat" (1977), "You Gotta Have Wa" (1989) and "The which means of Ichiro" (2004) — Whiting introduces readers to the interesting postwar improvement of the yank hobby in Japan.

From the dominance of the Yomiuri Giants and their heritage of stars (home-run king Sadaharu Oh, 400-game-winner Masaichi Kaneda, batting artist Shigeo Nagashima) to the inflow of getting older international imports (trailblazer Wally Yonamine, slugger Frank Howard, former Yankees standout Clete Boyer), "The Chrysanthemum and the Bat" is set the head-on assembly of eastern and American price platforms, and the fun and frustrations which end result — either at the box, and rancid.

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Dubbed the “monster,” this 6’3” 210-pounder was once credited with altering the “gray temper” of the lowly Braves. via Spencer’s fourth yr, the Braves had moved from the cellar to a league pennant. no longer all jap groups have been as lucky because the Dragons and the Braves, despite the fact that. Celebrated big-league stars like former Milwaukee courageous shortstop Johnny Logan and the house run hitting infielder of the Detroit Tigers, Chico Fernandez, signed huge contracts and have been abysmal disasters on the plate. Logan, a perennial nationwide League All-Star and the most effective hit-and-run batters in baseball, used to be signed through the Nankai Hawks. Logan used to be requested to bat 3rd and anticipated to hit 30 domestic runs. He hit seven and batted a depressing . 189. He additionally set a Japan list through going hitless 38 directly occasions at bat. Fernandez, enjoying for the Hanshin Tigers, fared even worse. He hit one domestic run and batted a microscopic . one hundred forty four. Billy Klaus and Reno Bertoia, former major-leaguers of a few renown, have been additionally signed with excessive expectancies. Klaus batted . 257 and Bertoia . a hundred seventy five. Former Oriole slugger Chuck Essegian was once anticipated to hit good over 30 domestic runs. He controlled 15. The vendors who shelled out those quite a lot of cash have been surprised. How may well any “authentic” American major-leaguer achieve this poorly in Japan, they questioned. It used to be changing into transparent that even for energetic big-leaguers, earlier functionality used to be easily one qualification for fulfillment in Japan. It looked as if it would require a definite form of participant to regulate. That participant not just needed to take care of assorted residing stipulations and the language barrier, yet he had additionally to develop into acquainted with quite a few “submarine” and sidearm pitchers, a unique strike sector (higher and wider), and a unconditionally varied philosophy towards lifestyles in addition to activities. sixteen It was once painfully obvious that a few major-league veterans came upon those changes just too demanding to make. additionally, it used to be mentioned, there have been American avid gamers with very little big-league event who logged notable files in Japan whereas their much-ballyhooed and overpaid American opposite numbers have been suffering to maintain their heads above water. In 1964, for instance, unheralded former minor-leaguers, Gene Bacque and Joe Stanka, pitched their groups to pennants. Stanka, a former White Sox farmhand in his 5th yr as a Hawk pitcher, received 26 video games and was once selected the Pacific League’s Most worthy participant (the merely American along with Yonamine to be so venerated in smooth times). 17 Bacque, a 27-year-old ex-Detroit estate in his 3rd 12 months as a Hanshin Tiger, led the principal League with 29 wins and a 1. 89 ERA—for which he got the Sawamura Award because the most sensible pitcher in eastern baseball. The Pacific League Toei Flyers grew to become the 1st workforce to truly stiffen their perspective towards the “over-the-hill boys” after they negotiated with ex-Dodger batting megastar Norm Linker. Larker demanded what different American big-leaguers of his stature had received—a excessive wage and advantages; together with additional reimbursement for a home. The Toei entrance place of work balked.

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