Taking in a Game: A History of Baseball in Asia / Edition 1

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Overview

Baseball has long been considered the great American game, but times have changed. The game now reverberates across the globe. Particularly noteworthy is how baseball has taken hold in Asia. While maintaining the essence of the game, a wide range of Asian cultures have embraced baseball and transformed it to make it their own. In Taking in a Game, Joseph A. Reaves examines the development of the sport in Korea, the Philippines, mainland China, and Taiwan, as well as the more widely known story of baseball in Japan. In this entertaining and informed account, Reaves covers everything from baseball in Qing Dynasty China in the nineteenth century to the 2000 Sydney Olympics bronze-medal match between Japan and Korea. Reaves guides the reader through a history of Asian baseball, the cultures that surround it, and the future of what has become a great Asian game.
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Editorial Reviews

Robert Whiting

"An important, groundbreaking work of research. Highly readable, yet thoroughly documented. No one else has put together this much information on baseball in Asia in one volume. It will be the sourcebook on the subject for years to come. Hats off to author Reaves for a much needed, unique contribution to the literature of the game."

—Robert Whiting, author of You Gotta Have Wa

Library Journal

"This book presents a brief but somewhat encyclopedic examination of baseball in Asia, with a particular focus on China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan. One riveting tales involves right-hander Eiju Sawamura, who pitched against Babe Ruth and a visiting American all-stars in Japan in 1934."—Library Journal

Robert Whiting
"An important, groundbreaking work of research. Highly readable, yet thoroughly documented. No one else has put together this much information on baseball in Asia in one volume. It will be the sourcebook on the subject for years to come. Hats off to author Reaves for a much needed, unique contribution to the literature of the game."—Robert Whiting, author of You Gotta Have Wa
Library Journal
This book presents a brief but somewhat encyclopedic examination of baseball in Asia, with a particular focus on China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan. One riveting tale involves right-hander Eiju Sawamura, who pitched against Babe Ruth and a band of visiting American all-stars in Japan in 1934. While in the United States the following year, Sawamura avoided inking a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. "My problem," Sawamura said, "is I hate America and I cannot make myself like Americans." Sawamura died during the Battle of the Ryukus. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Athomeplate.com - Jonathan Leshanksi
"This book will be the definitive book on Asian baseball and how Japan has taken America's game and made it their own. . . . This is a rare book—one that is interesting, readable and also breaks a lot of new ground and enlightens a whole new audience to a game that we know and love yet is totally foreign to us."—Jonathan Leshanksi, Athomeplate.com
Korean Quarterly - Michael Wilt
Taking in a Game is an essential history that provides context as the so-called ‘American game’ continues to evolve into a worldwide phenomenon.”—Michael Wilt, Korean Quarterly
Sacramento Bee
"Joseph Reaves's Taking in a Game: A History of Baseball in Asia expands our knowledge of Asian baseball beyond Japan, about which much has been written, to countries such as Korea, China, Taiwan and the Philippines. Reaves, an American journalist who has reported from Asia for many years, discovers baseball being played in many unlikely places, such as in the Communist stronghold of Yenan during the Sino-Japanese War of the 1930s."—Sacramento Bee
USA Today Baseball Weekly
"Joseph A. Reaves explores an aspect of the sport that is literally foreign to most fans. This book expands its scope well beyond the dominating influence of Japan to include the reach of baseball in Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and even China. . . . This study explaining the differences between Far Eastern ball and our own game arrives at an auspicious moment when more Pacific Rim players than ever are impacting the way baseball is played in the USA."—USA Today Baseball Weekly
The Washington Post
"American soldiers were baseball's Johnny Appleseeds, but Reaves shows that the Japanese tended the orchard of the game in Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan. . . . Reaves makes the case that before World War II, baseball for the Japanese was often about competing with the United States. After the war, the game helped bring the two countries together."—The Washington Post
Athomeplate.com

"This book will be the definitive book on Asian baseball and how Japan has taken America's game and made it their own. . . . This is a rare book—one that is interesting, readable and also breaks a lot of new ground and enlightens a whole new audience to a game that we know and love yet is totally foreign to us."—Jonathan Leshanksi, Athomeplate.com

— Jonathan Leshanksi

Korean Quarterly

Taking in a Game is an essential history that provides context as the so-called ‘American game’ continues to evolve into a worldwide phenomenon.”—Michael Wilt, Korean Quarterly

— Michael Wilt

Choice
"A former Chicago Tribune sports writer, Reaves transformed his thesis project at the University of Hong Kong into this award-winning commentary. . . . Reaves's well-referenced treatment of the game is highly recommended for students majoring in sports studies or the history of sport, and for readers who just have a passion for the game."—Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803290013
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Series: Jerry Malloy Prize
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph A. Reaves is a former journalist who covered Asia for the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, and UPI. He is the author of Warsaw to Wrigley: A Foreign Correspondent’s Tale of Coming Home from Communism to the Cubs.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
A time line for baseball in Asia and the Pacific
Introduction : let's play, too 1
1 Confucian in the bullpen : bunt well and bow deeply 10
2 Silk gowns and gold gloves : nineteenth-century China 19
3 Curve balls and hand grenades : twentieth-century China 37
4 Baseball gods and the prince of peace : Japan's national game 49
5 Always be gentlemen : Japan turns pro 74
6 Faded glory : the Philippines 88
7 Quiet riots : Korea 113
8 Say it ain't so, Kuo : Taiwan 138
9 Yakyu go home : the great Japanese game 156
Notes 161
Bibliography 183
Index 191
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