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Articles in NEWSLETTER, Vol.14, No.3
P.1 Making Our Presence Felt Fumio Kobayashi President

In March 1988, the Tokyo Dome, the first air dome in Japan, was completed and our Baseball Museum, originally opened in June 1959 in a two-storied detached building, moved inside the Dome. The new museum ( 1,700 ‡u) is twice as large as the old one. The Baseball Hall of Fame, which now occupies its own quarters, and storage space which hardly existed before can now store as many as 10 times the number of artifacts as are currently displayed in the old Exhibition Section. The library, which is also enlarged, can accommodate 8 researchers at a time.

However, seen from a different point of view, as one of the amusement facilities of the Dome City, which attracts 36 million visitors annually, it has to be admitted that the baseball museum, being as it is the only museum of its kind, leaves much to be desired. gI canft find where your entrance is!h gWhere in the world is your museum?h Those complaints have often been made to us. The museum is housed within the Tokyo Dome (with 8 million visitors annually) and its entrance is only one of many entrances to Tokyo Dome.

In October 1996, the entire wall above the entrance was adorned with attractive reliefs of kinetic figures, and a bigger sign was placed in front of the entrance. However, those enhancements were not enough to attract passers-by, so we have decided to reinforce these. Toward the end of February 2005, two artistic columns (see photo) will be erected along the corridor of the Tokyo Dome, and an elevator with a capacity for 11 will take visitors down to the Baseball Museum, which will be an important aid to the handicapped.

pp.2-3 Results of a questionnaire Miwako Atarashi, Curator

On three days in August (6th, 15th and 30th), a survey was conducted on visitors to the Baseball Museum. Out of 3,548 visitors, 746 of them answered the following questionnaire.
1)Your sex and age
(Women 27&; Aged 10`19: 42&)
2)Who did you come with?
(80% with parents or children)
3)How did you learn of the Museum?
iThrough mass media, 45%j
4)Have you ever visited the Museumfs website?
(Yes, 24%)
5)Is it your first visit here?
(Yes, 68%`84%; 2`4 times, 13%`27%; more than 4 times, 3%`5%)
6)What impressed you most here?
(Pro baseball, 24%; history of baseball, 19%; Hall of Fame, 15%)
7)Your suggestion
(32% of them expressed their opinions)

P.3 Library News Akiko Ogawa, Librarian

Two events, gLearning through hands-on experience,h and gAdvice on studentsf summer study of baseballh were held at the Event Hall and the library from Saturday, July 17 until Sunday, September 5. They attracted 22,283 and 180 visitors apiece.
The visitors measured the bounce of a rubber ball by dropping it on the marble from a stipulated height; compared a wooden bat used in pro baseball with a metal bat used in amateur baseball, and so on. At the library, they asked questions on baseball minutia, the history of (pro) baseball, baseball stadiums, amateur baseball, the Olympics, etc.

P.4 COLUMN: Much to See, Much to Enjoy (12)
Cooperstown; A little hard to get to, but well worth the effort (Part II)
Marty Kuehnert, Visiting professor of Sports Sciences
at Waseda University; Supporter of BHFM

N.B. Prof. Kuehnert participated in a seminar held at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on May 7-8. He was the 5th and the last in the line-up of the Seminar, gSports in Asia 2004,h which started on April 8, 2004. The other panelists on gAsian Baseballh were Bill Kelly, Joe Reaves and Robert Whiting. Part I of his article appeared on the previous issue, Vol.14, No.2, which was published last July.

P.5 Translation of the above by Ryuichi Suzuki, International Public Relations, BHFM
P.6 Inductees Remembered (7)
My fond fatherfs baseball life: Jiro Kuji, eldest son of Jiro Kuji, 7th Hall of Fame inductee.

I was born 2 months and 17 days after my father died 65 summers ago. On August 19,1939, in a game in Sapporo, he was just walking to the first base on BB, when a baseball thrown by the catcher aiming at the runner off the second base hit him on the right temple. Knocked unconscious, he was immediately taken to a hospital but died on August 21.

After catching for Waseda University, he entered Hakodate Hydroelectric Company in 1922 and played for the Hakodate Ocean. He was occupied with his work and baseball.His newly taken wife was concerned about his health and the family budget, and opened a sporting goods shop in 1927. Being interested in painting, he drew all the promotion pictures himself.

In the annual Inter-City Baseball Tournament, he was a star player. When the All-American team visited Japan in 1931 and 1934, he was elected captain of the All-Japan team. Particularly, in 1934 he was the battery-mate of the legendary pitcher SawamuraDIncidentally, his salary was 500 yen, much higher than 180 yen for other players graduated from any of the Tokyo Big Six Universities, and 120 yen for middle school graduates like Sawamura and Starrfin.

Naturally enough, in 1935 he was chosen as captain of the Dai Nippon Tokyo Yakyu Club, the first pro baseball team in Japan. They were scheduled to make a baseball tour in America in spring, but on March 21, a big fire broke out in Hakaodate and Kuji Sporting goods shop was burned down. Grieved to the heart, he wrote a letter (quoted in the original here) saying that he had to quit the team under the circumstances.

p.7 Rara avis (49) A gHinomaruh with g3h written by Nagashima
Takahiro Sekiguchi, Curator
The Rising Sun flag was placed in the dugout during all of the nine games in the Athens Olympics The teamfs slogan, gFor the Flag,h and their nickname, gNagashima Japanh are printed on it along with Nagashimafs uniform number.
The flag spiritually stood in for Nagashima, who was to have managed the team if he had not been prevented from doing so by illness. It has been on display since August 31. Also on display are his home uniform (placed in the dugout, too) and a baseball autographed by all members of Nagashima Japan.

News from the Baseball Museum
1) Changes in officials
New director: Takuo Takihana, Director and Owner of the Yomiuri Giants
New trustees: Toshihiro Makita, Executive Director of the Hanshin Tigers
: Hidetoshi Kiyotake, Director and representative of the Yomiuri Giants

Retiring trustees: Tsuneo Watanabe
: Kunio Takeda
: Hideaki Miyama

2)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.

3)Announcement of the 2005 Hall of Fame Inductees.
At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11, 2005, a press release on the 2005 Hall of Fame inductees will be issued at the Baseball Hall of Fame of the Baseball Museum. Any one will be welcome at the conference.

4)On sale: gKattobashih (Chopsticks made of broken bats. The term is a portmanteau word: gkattobaseh (Slam it outta here!)+ghashih (chopsticks). The item with the logo of the BHFM will be on sale from Tuesday, November 2.
It costs either \1,890 or \1,575.

5)Nobuhiko Matsunaka, winner of the Triple Crown in 2004
The infielder (the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks) will be honored with a special exhibition of his bat, uniform, and spikes. They will be on display until next summer in 2005.

6) 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 will be closed on the following days: November 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
December 6, 13, 20, 27, 29, 30, and 31
January 1, 17, 24 and 31

p. 8 Essay (18) The Highlights of 2004 Keiko Tomishige (The Mainichi Shimbun)
Member of the Selection Committee for Players

Undoubtedly ICHIRO, Atsuya Furuta, and Hiromitsu Ochiai will rank as the Top Three in the 2004 baseball world. ICHIRO batted 262 hits and surpassed George Sislerfs record for the most hits in a season, which was unbroken for the past 84 years. Atsuya Furuta, president of Japan Pro Baseball Players Association, sparred vigorously over the issue of restructuring pro baseball with the 12 owners of NPB; he reflected faithfully the sentiments of the players and the fans in general. Hiromitsu Ochiai, who took up the reins of the Chunichi Dragons this spring, was confident about the strength of their players and did not ask for any reinforcement by importing players from other teams, still led the team to the pennant in his first year of managership.

What is common to them is the fact that they did not get the highest evaluation when they turned pro. ICHIRO was the 4th choice in the draft when he joined the Orix BlueWave. ICHIRO was a pitcher but, slim as he was, he was not wanted by the Chunichi Dragons, his hometown team. There was no one who predicted he would become such an excellent batter, not only in Japan but also in the United States.

Furuta caught for Ritsumeikan University, but the bespectacled catcher was not wanted in the draft. He entered Toyota Motors and played a big role in bringing the All-Japan team to win the Silver Medal at the Soul Olympics. Even then he was 2nd in the draft when he joined the Yakult Swallows.

Ochiai was not well known either at Toyo University or at Toshiba Fuchu. He was slow and not good at fielding as a second baseman; so few people rated him high enough to be a pro player. The Lotte Orions took him at the third round, finding potential batting prowess. No one was able to find a future slugger in him who would win the Triple Crown three times.

What is common to their success is the fact that they did not lose confidence in themselves and that they had a rational thinking which provided them a wider perspective on the problems they have faced. They were free from fixed ideas and confident of their success.



 

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