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You Gotta Have Wa

Robert Whiting's Homepage at

You Gotta Have Wa

by Digby Diehl (Aug 1, 1989)

Digitized by Jessica Suchman and Catherine Nissley

ALL-STAR BREAK TIME is the perfect pause to check out this latest crop of sports books top-heavy with tales from the dugout. There's lots of instant replay, a bellyful of braggadocio, some thoughtful nostalgia and even a whiff of sweaty poetry.

Surely, the off-speed pitch of the season is You Gotta Have Wa (Macmillan), by Robert Whiting, a funny look at baseball in Japan that is as much a work of cultural anthropology as a sports book. Wa is the Japanese version of "team spirit," and there's nothing like trying to translate baseball into besuboru to show you just how uniquely American the grand game is.

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