Japan Foundation Los Angeles presents
Monday, July 6, 2015, 7PM
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles: 5700 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Street parking is available near JFLA. Click Here for Parking info
(NO PARKING VALIDATIONS PROVIDED)
Admission: Free RSVP Required: Click here to RSVP
Forwarded for the Japan Foundation Los Angeles:
Join us for the 50th anniversary celebration of the first Japanese baseball player in the Majors. Meet the legend Masanori “Mashi” Murakami and author Robert Fitts of the recently published “Mashi: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer” for a discussion on Japanese baseball and Mashi’s career and importance to U.S.-Japanese relations.
For nearly a century and a half the shared love of baseball has bound the United States and Japan together. Baseball exchanges have been used to forestall war in the 1930s, reunite the two countries in the late 1940s, and seal political alliances in the 1950s and 60s. More recently, the dozens of Japanese playing in the Major Leagues have allowed the two countries to share their diamond heroes.
In March 1964, the Nankai Hawks, Japanese professional baseball team sent three teenagers to the United States to train with the San Francisco Giants’ minor league teams. To everybody’s surprise 19-year-old reliever Masanori Murakami became the California League’s top pitcher, earning him a September call up to the Big League club.
With an inning of relief against the New York Mets on September 1, 1964, Murakami became the first Japanese to appear in a Major League game. Mashi went on to become the Giants top left-handed reliever and one of the most popular players on a star-studded team.
For additional details, visit Mashi’s facebook page
This event is co-organized by the Japan America Society of Southern California.