The New Wave from Japan and the Transformation of Our National Pastime
by Robert Whiting
Matsui… Nomo… Sasaki… Ichiro… the so-called American “National Pastime” has developed a decidedly Japanese flair. Indeed, in this year’s All-Star game, two of the starting American League outfielders were from Japan. And for the third straight year, Ichiro – the fleet-footed Seattle Mariner – received more votes for the All-Star game than any other player in the game today. Some 15 years ago, in the bestseller “You Gotta Have Wa,” Robert Whiting examined how former American major league ballplayers tried to cope with a different culture while playing pro ball in Japan. Now, Whiting reverses his field and reveals how select Japanese stars have come across the Pacific to play in the big leagues. Not only have they had to deal with the American way of life, but they have individually changed the game in dramatic fashion.