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Articles in NEWSLETTER, Vol.14, No.2
p.1 Induction Ceremony for the 2004 Hall of Famers Fumio Kobayashi President

On Saturday, July 10, at Nagoya Dome, two baseball greats were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the ceremony held after the bottom of the 5th inning of the First game of the 2004 All-Star games.

Akira Ogi and the late Noboru Akiyama (represented by his widow Keiko) were greeted by the All Stars who flanked their passage from the home plate to the pitcherfs mound. Their encased uniforms were also carried there and put on display on the easel.
In the meanwhile, their brilliant careers were shown on the big AuroraVision.
Yasuchika Negoro, Chariman of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (extreme right in the photo right) presented them with a replica of the plaque which is to be eternally on display at the Hall of Fame. They were also given a bouquet by two Hall of Famers, Yukio Nishimoto (1988, second from left in the photo left) and Junzo Sekine (2003, extreme left in the photo left).
Representing the two Hall of Famers, Ogi made an acceptance speech with deep thanks to the baseball fans and those people involved in pro baseball. A capacity spectators as well as the All Stars on the ground greeted him with warm applause.

Akira Ogi, who played for the Nishitetsu Lions and later managed the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Orix BrueWave, was elected by the Selection Committee for Players, and the late Noboru Akiyama, who pitched for the Taiyo Whales, was elected by the Special Selection Committee. The members of the Baseball Hall of Fame now totals up to 151.

p.2 Summer Events

1) Special Exhibition of the 2004 Hall of Famers
At the Hall of Fame through Sunday, October 3, artifacts and records of Akira Ogi and the late Noboru Akiyama are being on display together with their plaques.

2) Learning through hands-on experience
At the Event Hall and the Library until Sunday, September 5, visitors are invited to try on gloves, mitts and spikes and touch bats used by pro baseball players. They can compare them with a baseball kit used by young boys. You can also measure the bounce of a rubber ball by dropping it on the marble from a stipulated height.
Our librarians are ready to give a helping hand to primary and junior high school pupils with their summer study on baseball.

3) Mizuno Sporting Goods will demonstrate the process of making a bat at a corner in the Hall of Fame from 10:30 to 12:00 and from 13:30 to 15:00 on both Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14. Mr.Takahiro Watanabe, Mizunofs craftsman, will be ready to answer any questions on bat making.

4) Special Exhibition on gBaseball and the Olympicsh
At the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Baseball Museum through October 3, 2004
Under the joint auspices of the Baseball Congress of Japan, the Japanese Olympic Committee, and the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

In celebration of the baseball event in the coming Olympics in Athens, a special exhibition is now being held with a strong expectation of a spectacular showing of the Japanese team headed by ex-Giants manager Shigeo Nagashima.
On display at the exhibition are medals won and uniforms worn by the Japanese delegations in the past competitions. Also being shown on the panels are the history of baseball competitions in the Olympics and the total record of the Japanese baseball delegations. The final members of the Japanese team, which was announced on June 25, are being introduced with their photos.
After the start of the competitions, the daily results of the 32 games will be reported on the spot.
For further details, please refer to page 4.

p.3 Inductees Remembered (6)

My grandfather and baseball
Hisaji Hiraoka, grandson of Hiroshi Hiraoka, 2nd Hall of Famer

My recollection of my grandfather is rather vague because he died in 1934 at the age of 79 when I was only a 4-year-old boy.. I was later told that at every family gathering I was fondled by him in his lap. All of my knowledge about him came from my father and senior acquaintances of mine. What is common to all of their talks is that he was blessed with foresight and that whatever he did he was not satisfied unless he did it thoroughly.
In 1871, when he was only 15, he was selected in an inspection mission to America and discovered his vocation in locomotive engineering which proved to be of great importance to the modernization of Japan. In 1876, he came back with, among other things, Spaldingfs Official Base Ball Guide which was published for the first time in that year.It seems that while he worked for Hinkley and Baldwin Rolling Stock Manufacturing Companies, he enjoyed playing baseball and learned to pitch curveballs. (My father who studied music in America heard of him from his old co-workers) So the Shimbashi Athletic Club, which he started around 1878, was the first authentic baseball team in Japan in that they played in the legitimate baseball ground in accordance with the current rules. No other teams had uniforms at that time.
The SAC had a great impact on students at Ikko, descendant of Kaisei Gakko where Horace Wilson taught his students how to play baseball in 1872. Their pitchers like Fukushima and Aoi were reportedly taught how to pitch curveballs. Later in 1888, his letter and the picture of his team appeared in Chicago Tribune (dated July 15). It was preceded by the following title and sub-title which summarized its content.

JAPAN HAS A BALL CLUB
THE AMERICAN GAME FINDS ITS WAY TO THAT COUNTRY
Introduced by a native who had been educated in America. It at first became popular, but declined after one or two players had been hurt - Revival of interest in the sport- Supplies ordered from Chicago.

If he were alive today, he would say with amazement, gIs this the same baseball as I played in the Meiji era?h

p.4 Rara avis (48)

Baseball in the Olympics Takahiro Sekiguchi, curator

Even before baseball was admitted as an official event in the Olympics, it was played several times at the Olympics as a demonstration evemt. (See the chart).
In 1964, All-American University team played two games against the All-Japan Club team and the All-Japan University team on October 11 on the following day of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. Meiji Jingu Outer Shrine Stadium was just across the street from the Olympic Main Stadium. As was clearly stated in the program of the games, all the people concerned wished earnestly that baseball would be adopted in the Olympics as soon as possible.
In 1984, although as a demonstration event, baseball was first played in a tournament system and Japan won the coveted medal. It was at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 that baseball was officially entered as an Olympic event. Now at Athens, starting on August 15, eight representative teams which won through the keen preliminary competitions throughout the world are going to vie for the championship in a round-robin, semi- and final competition.

p.5 COLUMN: Much to See, Much to Enjoy (11)

Cooperstown:A little hard to get to, but well worth the effort Part I
Marty Kuehnert, Visiting Professor of Sports Sciences, Waseda Unifersity;
Supporter of Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

N.B. by Ryuichi Suzuki, Adviser to BHFM

Prof.Kuehnert participated in a seminar held at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on May 7-8 It was the 5th and the last line-up of the Seminar, gSports in Asia 2004,h which started on April 8, 2004. The other panelists at gAsian Baseballh were Bill Kelly, Joe Reaves and Robert Whiting. The latter part of his article will appear on the next issue, Vol.14, No.3, which is scheduled to be published in coming October.

p.6 Library News Reiko Yamane, Librarian

Succeeding to her article in the Newsletter Vol.12, No.1, Ms.Yamane now presents the latest list of the 30 MLB franchised stadiums, as 3 new stadiums have been built and 5 stadiums renamed during the past two years.

p.7 News from the Baseball Museum

1) Changes in officials:
New trustees Kazuhisa Saito, Vice President, Japanese Student Baseball Association
Keisuke Ashitaka, Executive Director, the Osaka Buffaloes
Ryuzo Setoyama, Director, the Chiba Lotte Orions

Retiring trustees Motoki Takeuchi
Tetsuya Kobayashi
Tomokazu Kawakita

2) Our Website Renewed
With the renewal of our website in last April, detailed information and data, including the picture and legend of the plaque, about the 151 Hall of Famers have become available on the website. The back issues of our Newsletter, and the names inscribed on the Monument dedicated to those pro baseball players who were killed during the World War II will also be available soon. Our website had a total of 5,700,000 accesses in the fiscal year of 2003.

3) New Sustaining Members Invited
Since its foundation in 1959 as a museum specializing in baseball, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has been dedicated to its functions of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting materials on baseball and its related sports. We now have about 30,000 artifacts and photographs, and some 50,000 books and magazines, and we have more than 150,000 visitors per year to the baseball museum and the baseball library. We have honored baseball greats by inducting them into the Hall of Fame through annual selections by the Selection Committee for Players and the Special Selection Committee.
Sustaining members are expected to endorse and support the above projects by paying the membership fees.

Privilege of Sustaining Members

Sustaining members are entitled to receive the following:
1) Quarterly Newsletter
2) Complimentary ticket valid throughout the year
3) 5 courtesy tickets for non-members (Individual membership)
20 courtesy tickets for non-members (Corporation membership)
4) Occasional News Release

There are two kinds of sustaining members. The yearly membership is valid from April to March.
1) Individual membership (Membership fee is 10,000 yen)
2) Corporation membership (Membership fee is 100,000 yen)
*The membership fee for new sustaining members varies according to the month when they join.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask the Management at 03-3811-3600.

On sale
a) pinned badge of Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum \500
b) The Official Baseball Encyclopedia 2004 \16,800
The lifetime records of all the games and players in the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization since 1936, based on the Data obtained by Baseball Information System.
This is the 4th edition and is also available through mail by contacting Mail Order Section, Baseball Magazine (025-780-1231)
c) Official Baseball Guide 2004 \2,900
d) Official baseball stamped with gAPPROVED BY COMMIS-SIONERh \1,600
Also available by mail order. Mailing charge is \250 for one, and \400 for two and/or three.
3) Guide to Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The entrance is located to the right of Gate 21 of Tokyo Dome.
Hours: 10:00 ` 18:00 (March through September)
10:00 ` 17:00 (October through February)
(Visitors are requested to enter at least 30 minutes prior to the closing time)
Admission: \400 (\300*) Adults
\200 (\150*) Primary and junior high school pupils
(*per person in groups of 20 or more)
Open: Tuesday through Sunday, every day of the year except December 29 through January 1
Closed: Mondays except those 1) during the spring and summer school vacations,
2) that fall on National Holidays, and/or
3) when a professional baseball game is played in
Tokyo Dome
N.B. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open every day until September 12. It will be closed on September 13, 27 and October 4, 11 and 25.

p.8 Essay (17) Ahkan! Makoto Iseki, Osaka Nikkan Sports
director of the Selection Committee for Players

Recently I have heard one former baseball great after another say gAhkan!h This expression is a dialect peculiar to Kansai district, meaning gThat is a no-no,h or gIt should not be so.h
Keishi Suzuki, 56-year-0ld Hall of Famer, did not mention who, but said with emotion,gCooperstown, the mecca for baseball, should be visited more often by Japanese people concerned with baseball.h He himself made his pilgrimage there only when he hung up his spikes after garnering 317 wins.
gAhkan! Why Kajimoto has not been elected to the Hall of Fame?h Yoshio Yoshida, 70-year-old Hall of Famer, complained. gArenft the selectors too young (if not ignorant) to know his splendid career?h I cannot say anything against him, as the southpaw Takao Kajimoto pitched for the cellar dwellers (the Hankyu Braves) for 20 years with a career appearance of 867 games. He appeared in the annual All-Star games 12 times, only his career pitching record is 254 wins and 255 losses.
gAhkan! Godzilla Matsui wonft be able to any title with his batting style,h 84-year-old Hall of Famer asserted. The authority on batting wanted to advise the Japanese major leaguer to press his right arm a little more tightly to his side. gYou should tell him to.h
Though in their 50s, 70s and 80s, those former baseball players still love baseball and are actively concerned about the status quo of pro baseball today.



 

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