Monday, July 6, 2015

Masanori Murakami revisits the site of his major league debut

Masanori Murakami became the first Japanese player in the major leagues when he debuted for the San Francisco Giants on September 1, 1964 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Entering the game in the 8th inning as a relief pitcher for Alvin Dark's squad, the 20-year-old lefty quickly shut down the side for a scoreless slate.

Fast forward a half-century later, Murakami returned to the spot where he made his historical impact on the game, throwing out the first pitch on July 2nd, 2015 at Citi Field. His trip to New York was part of the celebration of the release of his English autobiography, "Mashi: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer," which is authored by Rob Fitts.

Masanori Murakami / N. Diunte

To Murakami's surprise, he encountered a familiar face at Citi Field in the form of Chicago Cubs pitcher, Tsuyoshi Wada. The Cubs import shares a special affiliation with Murakami, not only as a lefty, but also as an alum of the Softbank (Nankai) Hawks organization, the team Murakami primarily pitched for in Japan.

Murakami presents Wada a signed copy of his book / N. Diunte

The ceremony at Citi Field was a culmination of a three-day tour of New York City, which also included two book signings and multiple media interviews. His book tour has moved out to California, where he will be making appearances through July 11th. Below is video of Murakami throwing out the first pitch at Citi Field.


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