Overview


Wally Yonamine was both the first Japanese American to play for an NFL franchise and the first American to play professional baseball in Japan after World War II. This is the unlikely story of how a shy young man from the sugar plantations of Maui overcame prejudice to integrate two professional sports in two countries.
 
In 1951 the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants chose Yonamine as the first American to play in Japan during the Allied occupation. ...
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Wally Yonamine

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Overview


Wally Yonamine was both the first Japanese American to play for an NFL franchise and the first American to play professional baseball in Japan after World War II. This is the unlikely story of how a shy young man from the sugar plantations of Maui overcame prejudice to integrate two professional sports in two countries.
 
In 1951 the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants chose Yonamine as the first American to play in Japan during the Allied occupation. He entered Japanese baseball when mistrust of Americans was high—and higher still for Japanese Americans whose parents had left the country a generation earlier. Without speaking the language, he helped introduce a hustling style of base running, shaking up the game for both Japanese players and fans. Along the way, Yonamine endured insults, dodged rocks thrown by fans, initiated riots, and was threatened by yakuza (the Japanese mafia). He also won batting titles, was named the 1957 MVP, coached and managed for twenty-five years, and was honored by the emperor of Japan. Overcoming bigotry and hardship on and off the field, Yonamine became a true national hero and a member of Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803217829
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 853,618
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Robert K. Fitts is the author of Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game , for which he won the 2005 Sporting News–SABR Award for best baseball research.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: A Gamble 1

1 "Just a Country Boy from Olowalu, Maui" 7

2 Football Star 19

3 The San Francisco 49ers 34

4 Lucky Breaks 48

5 Of Seals and Bees 63

6 A Winter of Uncertainty 73

7 Debut 84

8 The Jackie Robinson of Japan 91

9 Settling In 117

10 Lessons from Santa Maria 136

11 Gaijin Dageki Oh - Foreign Batting Champion 161

12 World Travelers 174

13 Hard Labor 187

14 Lucky Seven 211

15 Young Giants 226

16 End of an Era 248

17 Coach 259

18 Yonamine Kantoku 271

19 Sometimes Nice Guys Do Finish First 282

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