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Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game (Writing Baseball) Paperback – March 21, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The fact that such different cultures could share a similar love for a simple ballgame first sparked attention when American players began having second careers in Japan. Now that stars from Japan are joining stateside teams, the pertinence of what Fitts has done is clear. Through these narratives Fitts grants us unrivaled firsthand knowledge of Japanese baseball from old- and new-timers alike.”—Jerry Klinkowitz, author of Owning a Piece of the Minors and Basepaths

About the Author

Robert K. Fitts has written on Japanese baseball for Tuff Stuff Magazine, Vintage and Classic Baseball Collector, and MLB.com; he has been featured on ESPN.com, Asahi.com, in Beckett’s Baseball Card Monthly, Sports Collector Digest, Shukan Baseball (Japan), Kansai Time Out (Japan), and in several television documentaries.

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Product Details

  • Series: Writing Baseball
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (March 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809326302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809326303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,899,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Lapides on May 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a longtime fan of Japanese baseball, I was thrilled to come across Rob Fitts' book about something I have a real passion for. I had great expectations when I saw it, and would say they were met, if not surpassed. The oral accounts directly by the players themselves put some "flesh on the bone" of my image of Japanese baseball. I enjoyed the humble accounts by Japanese players and marveled at the differences between their style of play and ours. In fact, it was sort of mindblowing to me to hear about the culture and philosophy of Japanese baseball. Had it not been from the mouths of the players themselves, I might not have even believed it! I found the book quite enjoyable, extremely informative, and would not hesitate to recommend it.
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One of the more interesting things on this planet is the Japanese love of American Baseball. This book is a terrific way to get the big picture on its history through the words of those who have lived it.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very welcome addition to the growing literature on Japanese baseball. Oral history is hard work, but unlike the daily quotes of player pablum that fill newspaper game reports, reflections over long careers are often informative and moving (even if occasionally self-serving). The real virtues of this collection are the range of baseball people that Fitts was able to get to open up (from outstanding stars to working stiffs, from players to coaches, managers, and executives) and the range over time (with representative stories from six decades of Japanese professional baseball). Some of the most powerful chapters evoke the difficulties of Japanese-American players in the 1950s. Such range is extraordinarily valuable in demonstrating the surprising breadth of baseball experiences. It's a collection that instructs both the devotee and the neophyte to Japanese baseball lore.
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Format: Paperback
This book does for Japanese baseball what Lawrence Ritter's classic, "The Glory of Their Times", did for early twentieth century baseball. It tells the story of Japan's passion for the game, through the first hand accounts of those who lived it.

Using both Japanese and American-in-exile players, Robert Fitts presents a spectrum of candid and engaging stories that cover nearly the entire history of Japanese Professional Baseball.

This book is not just for those looking to probe beyond Robert Whiting's fine books, but for all baseball fans. And, it's a great read.

More please!
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Remembering Japanese Baseball brings to life, in riveting detail, a familiar game and a distant (in time & space)land in the rich currency of humor, joy and sadness by the men who played it. Robert Fitts, much like the best talk show hosts, performs a nifty bit of disappearing magic by casting our full attention on the players he interviews. The effect is oral history that feels like a series of intimate dinner conversations. The difference between the game we grew up with and Japanese baseball, in style and spirit, will surprise the casual fan and the die hard fan alike. Cover to cover, a great read!
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Format: Paperback
This was my first read on Japanese baseball history and I found it well written and paced. Very interesting antidotes and easily prepares the reader for additional titles. I enjoyed the experience.
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Format: Paperback
While this book does indeed reinforce some of the ground covered in Whiting's books, it is also the first

english language oral history on the subject and thus it gives a fuller view of how each player saw baseball in Japan than what Whiting could present in his more general overviews. Here you have both Japanese and American players talking about the development of Japanese baseball over the years, how they related to their teammates, who

would have made it in the major leagues but never got the chance, as well as some personal anecdotes about

what the families of American players experienced while following their husband or father to the Land of the Rising Sun. At the end of the day, you get a better feel for the humanity of the people who ply their trade on the diamond than in most other baseball books.

The only real defect of this worthy work is that one wishes it was longer. It is such a fun and engrossing read that one hopes for a sequel ASAP. Unfortunately, doing oral history is not an easy undertaking (and if you read Whiting's foreward, you will understabnd part of the reason why) and that Fitts was able to get as far as he did with this

book is a testament to the love and hard work that resulted in its realization.

For a fuller review of Remembering Japanese Baseball, go to: [...]
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