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Herb Hunter

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
Herb Hunter
I submitted a follow up to Herb HUnter, So I think, on Herb Hunter a few days back. are you behind at all on this or did push a wrong button and not send it at all?!
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 23, 2001 9:49 PM | YBS Fan ]

Nope. I didn't see anything in the queue about Hunter-san. Want to try again?
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: admedina | Posted: Oct 16, 2004 3:48 AM ]

I regret Westbaystars, that it has been 3 years since you invited me to try again and that I am just now responding. Happy to see that the forum you have built here is still going strong.

Yes, thank you, I would like to try again.

In 1987 I was 18 years old and living/working in an Orlando, FL Youth Hostel. I was working the front desk in this old mansion on Lake Eola one afternoon as the two German girls the new owner had hired to clean out the attic began carrying boxes down and out to the curb. As they passed by me with these boxes, I noticed old books and papers, some old clothing, etc. I decided that I would go out and kick about the pile at the curb after my shift was over.

Well that's just what I did. Under the Lake Eola moonlight I lifted up a box of old letters and pics. I could tell that many of the old pages and photos that I was looking at depicted hearty celebrations and I was excited to bring this box up into my room to take a closer look. Once in my room, I could see that this was quite a find - though I really couldn't make out just what it was all about and I was scheduled to "hit the town" with friends, so I decided to postpone further investigation into the box until the next day. I planned on waking up early and looking through the rest of the pile. Well the night turned very long and I found myself rising the next day at noon. Unfortunately, I missed rescuing anything else of value that may have been in that pile.

Well, I looked through the box of pictures and was totally blown away. It was the personal scrapbook of Herbert Harrison Hunter. He had lived in what was my room when the mansion had been a nursing home. He died 17 years before I arrived to the Plantation Manor (now the Eo Inn) to find his scrapbook.

I, again, was just 18 and life was a big whirlwind of adventure and I didn't spend much time looking very closely. I left in 2 weeks for a visit to my Michigan home and stashed the box in my grandparents' basement. In 1998 I returned to my grandparents basement and found the box. For the years in between, Herb Hunter haunted my dreams every now and again. He wanted his story told, he said. Now I don't believe in real ghosts, but I can tell you that for me, he might just as well have been real for the effect that it had on me.

I then bought a copy of Larry Ritters "Glory Of Their Times." That book, along with Donald Honigs "Baseball When the Grass Was Real" changed my life forever. Reading those old baseball interviews and matching the names and faces with what I found in the scrapbook was the most increble thing. I fell in love with baseball's glory days, and with all of the figures involved with the U.S. All Star Goodwill Tours of the Orient 1920-35.

Books written by Robert Whiting, Fred Lieb, and Nick Dawidoff also transported me back into time and introduced me to the cast of Herb's scrapbook. The letters, pictures, and pages were filled with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou "Iron Man" Gehrig, Lefty O'Doul, Mickey "Black Mike" Cochrane, Franky "Fordham Flash" Friscsh, Lefty Grove, Herb Pennock, Lule Sewell, Ted Lyons, "Bucketfoot" Al Simmons, George "Highpockets" Kelly, Moe Berg "Catcher was a Spy," Jimmie "The Beast" Foxx, Casey Stengal "The Old Professor," Walter "The Big Train" Johnson, "Bullet" Joe Bush, Waite Hoyte, Rabbitt Maranville, Charlie Robertson, Freddy Hoffman, and many others. There is a radiogram from Judge Landis congradulating and thanking Herb sent in 1923.

And, oh, his beautiful wife Lucille was the love of his life. She passed away three years before he did and he saved some incredible corresponance between the two of them. It is a sad story how Herb's life played out in the end. And yet it offers up hope.

I have been twice to his hometown of Melrose, MA and once to his Military Institute-Linsly, in Wheeling, WV to research his life. I have been writing a fictional story that is based on the last 12 hours of Herb's life. Though I take certain liberties in telling my story, Herb's story will be told in the process. I have made a copy scrapbook full of baseball cards and pictures of Herb Hunter and the players, letters, etc. that is meant for 3 six year old girls (my daughter, and the great granddaughters of Herb and Lucille to share.)

Japanese author and historian Kazou Sayama will, I believe, write Herb's story in Japan. I think that he should have been nominated by now into Japan baseball's HOF (before or alongside Lefty O'Doul), and I'd sure like to see him someday in Cooperstown.

I don't know yet what will happen to the original. But I'll keep this forum updated if there is interest, and I'd love to share info about Herb Hunters All Stars.

Tony Medina
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 2, 2004 2:05 AM ]

I am Herb's great grand niece. His brotehr was my grandfather, Jospeh Thompsom Hunter. Please respond. Regards, Kathleen Hunter to kathunter at rcn d0t com.
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jul 23, 2010 7:16 PM ]

[I realize that this is an old thread, but I just need to add this.]

My grandparents were close friends of Herb and Lucille. I think that my grandfather played on the Yankee farm team. Do you know if their daughter Lindy is still alive? Over the years I heard many great stories!
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest: Christopher | Posted: Oct 27, 2010 6:00 AM ]

[I realize that this is an old thread, but I just need to add this.]

I am Lindy's grandson. She past away about 6 years ago from complications of the heart. I never knew my great grandfather but if you guys could tell me a lot about him that would be nice.
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest: grandslam | Posted: Oct 27, 2010 10:11 AM ]

Hello guest -- my grandparents are Herb and Lucille -- I'd love to hear your stories from your grandparents.
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest: Guest:Jane | Posted: Apr 28, 2011 11:25 PM ]

[Reviving old thread.]

We are related somehow. Herb was my father's uncle. He wanted to take him to Japan to be the bat boy when my father was 12 but his mother would not allow him to go!

Can you help me find Tony Medina?
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest: Guest:Jane | Posted: May 4, 2011 4:55 AM ]

I realize that this is an old thread, but I just need to add this.

Herbie Hunter was my great uncle. When he took the team to Japan he wanted my father , age 12 or 13, to go with him to be the bat boy. His mother wouldn't let him go!!! But he brought him back a baseball glove.Family legend said that Herbie was a male advertising model posing as a doctor etc. and giving expert" testimony. Also it was said that he became the advertising figure of the chef on the Chef Boy A Dee products. I have never been able to confirm this. I would love to see the scrapbook and other memorabilia.
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 2, 2004 2:03 AM ]

I am his great grand niece. My grandfather was Joseph Thompson Hunter, his brother. I would love to hear from you re: the box of material you found on his life. Please respond.

Kathleen M. Hunter,
Boston, MA
Kathunter at rcn d0t com
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest: admedina | Posted: Nov 4, 2004 4:20 AM ]

How 'bout that? What a great site this is!

I have sent Ms. Hunter my contact info.

Note to forum: Today the copy of Hunter Sans scrapbook that I make reference to above went out to MLB Japan to be shown off to MLB players and the Japanese All Stars during this year's All-Star tour of Japan. Very exciting!
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Dec 1, 2004 5:52 AM ]

The whole Herb Hunter involvement with bringing teams to Japan is well recounted in a Japanese language book, Pro Yakyu Tanjo Zenya (ISBN 4-486-01047--7). You can order it via Amazon Japan (which will ship to the U.S.).

Hunter comes off as a pretty calculating guy and he made nice bank on the deals.
Re: Herb Hunter
[ Author: admedina | Posted: Dec 4, 2004 2:13 PM ]

Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll definately check it out. Are there pics in the book of Herb and of the Goodwill All Star games of 1920, '22-'23, Cobb in '28 and the awesome 1931 tour?

Is anyone here aware of any film available of these games or player receptions?

Oh, and $500 to anyone that can tell me who the batboy was on the 1931 All Star tour of Japan.

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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