Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan

By Robert K. Fitts | Go to book overview

13

As the All Americans dined at the Imperial Hotel on crème de tomate Chantilly, Dame de Saumon à la Victoria, and contrefilet pique sauce Chasseur, fans began lining up outside the entrance to Meiji Jingu Stadium. These fans all held small 50-sen tickets printed on thin gray paper, good for an unreserved outfield seat. Sleeping the night on the ground before the stadium gate should guarantee them a good seat. The fans bearing the bright-orange, 1.50-yen tickets would arrive tomorrow to take their reserved infield seats. The tickets bore the game number, not the date of the match, in a large red box in the upper-left corner. Yomiuri officials realized belatedly that this might cause confusion and ran announcements in the newspaper all week warning patrons to check their tickets and the schedule to ensure that they arrived on the correct date.

The atmosphere outside the stadium gates resembled a summer festival, despite the temperature dipping into the low forties. Men had brought mahjong and go boards, and many played late into the night before falling asleep on makeshift beds of cardboard or ratty blankets. A Yomiuri reporter arrived to interview these true fans. Most felt that the Japanese had a fair chance against the All Americans. Kikuo Nakamura came with a large banner supporting the All Nippon team. The young man was a childhood friend of Eiji Sawamura and had come to cheer him on. One man in particular caught the reporter’s eye. He was middle-aged, with legs so malformed that he needed crutches. His rough, blue-tinted hands identiffied him as a textile dyer. He had arrived at six o’clock to ensure a good seat, and a fellow fan had laid a sheet on the ground to make his wait more comfortable. He eagerly told the reporter his plans. A designer of kimono and textile patterns, he planned to study Babe

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Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Recurring Japanese Characters ix
  • Prologue xiii
  • Part 1 - "When I Say I’Ll Do Something, I Bet My Life on It." 1
  • 1 3
  • 2 12
  • 3 22
  • 4 31
  • 5 34
  • 6 39
  • 7 43
  • 8 55
  • 9 65
  • Part 2 - "Babe Ruth… Is a Great Deal More Effective Ambassador Than I Could Ever Be." 83
  • 10 85
  • 11 88
  • 12 98
  • 13 104
  • 14 113
  • 15 120
  • 16 131
  • 17 137
  • 18 142
  • Part 3 - "The Japanese Are Equal to the Americans in Strength of Spirit." 179
  • 19 181
  • 20 183
  • 21 196
  • 22 198
  • 23 208
  • 24 210
  • Part 4 - "There Will Be No War between the United States and Japan." 219
  • 25 221
  • 26 229
  • 27 234
  • 28 240
  • 29 249
  • Part 5 - "To Hell with Babe Ruth!" 259
  • 30 261
  • 31 266
  • 32 271
  • 33 281
  • 34 284
  • 35 293
  • Appendix 1- The All American Touring Party 299
  • Appendix 2- Tour Batting and Pitching Statistics 301
  • Appendix 3- Tour Game Line Scores 303
  • Acknowledgments 307
  • Notes 311
  • Bibliography 325
  • Index 335
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