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

By Robert K. Fitts | Go to book overview

14

The All Americans awoke by eight the next morning. It would be another full day. After breakfast at the hotel they left at ten for the Matsuya department store in Ginza. Stuart Bell told his Cleveland Press readers, “We banzaied our way through the aisles and up elevators to the landscaped roof, where the overworked photographers went through their hourly act. And then we descended to a spacious dining room, where a lunch that included everything from soup to nuts was spread. The big shot of the store made a fine speech presenting Japan’s protestations of peace and goodwill to Americans, pledged the love of Japanese for Americans, and sat down with the closing injunction that everybody should eat.” The Americans eyed the mounds of food warily. Nearly every type of Japanese dish stood on the table—sushi, sukiyaki, noodles, rice, fresh fruit, and a huge cake shaped like Mount Fuji. At ten o’clock in the morning, having just finished breakfast, the spread was daunting. As the visitors sat, a troop of young women clad in “multicolored kimonos and clopping [geta] brought out beer—bottle after bottle!” Too full from breakfast to truly enjoy the feast, the guests snacked on the many dishes and drank the beer.1

After about an hour the All Americans piled into their cars and were whisked down the street to the rival Takashimaya department store. In conjunction with the team’s visit Takashimaya threw a “baseball sale” from November 4 to November 11. All customers spending more than three yen (about one dollar but two days’ wages for most factory workers) would get a complimentary ticket to a game. A large advertisement in the Yomiuri Shimbun invited fans to meet the players at the store that morning. The first three thousand through the door would receive a Babe Ruth bromide (a black-and-

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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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