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Wally Yonamine

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
Wally Yonamine
The Herald-Asahi is running an excellent article about Wally Yonamine's life, from a child in the cane fields of Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor, through his brief football career, becoming the first post-war American to play in Japan, his tremendous career as a Giant, to playing for and later managing the Dragons. There are even a couple of short interviews with Hideki Matsui and Sadaharu Oh about Yonamine's influence on them and Japanese baseball.

Yonamine summed up his Japanese career best in the article:
"When I first came to Japan, I had three goals I wanted to accomplish," says Yonamine, reflecting back on a fascinating life. "I wanted to manage a ballclub in Japan and try to win a championship, which I did. The second was to get into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame one day when my career was over, which I also did. The third thing, which I thought was almost impossible, was to shake hands with the Emperor. One day I had an audience with the Emperor in Los Angeles and I was able to shake hands with him. Here in Japan you could never shake his hand, you would just bow to him, but since we were in America I stuck out my hand and he shook it."

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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