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By Robert Whiting

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

From the dominance of the Yomiuri Giants and their historical past of stars (home-run king Sadaharu Oh, 400-game-winner Masaichi Kaneda, batting artist Shigeo Nagashima) to the inflow of getting older overseas 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 structures, and the thrill and frustrations which outcome — either at the box, and rancid.

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The groups within the Pacific and significant Leagues every one play a 130-game agenda and the 2 pennant winners meet in October within the Japan sequence, the Oriental model of the yank international sequence. 3 of Japan’s 12 professional ball golf equipment make their domestic in Tokyo, 4 in Osaka, and one each one in Nagoya, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Hiroshima, and Sendai. so much groups are owned through enterprise businesses and exist basically for public family members reasons. This leads to a few quite not going names. The Taiyo Whales of Kawasaki are owned by way of the Taiyo Fishery Co. and the Yakult Swallows of Tokyo are the valuables of a huge future health foodstuff corporation. The Hankyu Braves, the Nankai Hawks, the Kintetsu Buffaloes, and the Hanshin Tigers (all of Osaka) are owned through inner most railways. Others contain the Lotte Orions of Sendai (chewing gum), the Chunichi Dragons of Nagoya (newspapers), the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo (newspaper/TV), the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (owned together by way of the voters of Hiroshima and Toyo Kogyo—a significant motor vehicle manufacturer), and the Nippon Ham opponents (owned through Nippon Ham, a food-processing conglomerate) of Tokyo. The Taiheiyo membership Lions of Fukuoka are privately owned, yet have a main ads agreement with the Taiheiyo membership company, a tremendous land developer. the pros inventory their groups with university and highschool standouts in an annual draft. And the avid gamers, usually stars of their personal correct, occasionally command huge bonuses. Baseball owes a lot of its prestige because the optimal activity in Japan to an enlightened media that not just is familiar with the sport, but additionally knows how one can make it fascinating. eastern television and radio announcers operating in groups can bring up the main regimen come across among a tumbler and a batter right into a second of excessive drama. among pitches—and in the course of the game—sportscasters talk about the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the guy on the plate and the fellow at the mound: “This pitcher often tires after seventy pitches and he has already thrown seventy-four. ... discover how the batter has widened his stance? (Camera shot of stance) He wasn’t doing month in the past. i feel that’s why his batting common has fallen. he's not placing his hips into his swing and he's additionally taking his eyes off the ball. . . . Let’s seriously look into that final pitch in sluggish movement. See how the pitcher’s leg got here down too quickly? for this reason the pitch was once excessive ... ” Announcers talk about past encounters among the pitcher and the batter. With the aid of desktop files, they expect, occasionally with extraordinary accuracy, what pitch should be thrown and what the batter is probably going to do in a given scenario: “Watanabe has a . 220 lifetime common batting by contrast pitcher Suzuki; although, he's . 314 opposed to him this season. What do you think that debts for the adaptation? / good, let’s see. Suzuki used to retire him on a excessive open air slider. in spite of the fact that, this season Watanabe has discovered to punch that par- ticular supply to the other box. / What do you're thinking that Suzuki will use this time? / it really is tough to claim, yet, with out and a runner on moment, I don’t imagine he'll use the slider.

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