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|Articles in NEWSLETTER, Vol.15, No.2
Induction Ceremony for the 2005 Hall of Famers
Fumio Kobayashi, President
On Friday, July 22, Choji Murata, Masaaki Mori, and Masayori Shimura, who were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame last January, were honored at the Induction Ceremony held on the playing field of the Invoice Seibu Dome at the end of the bottom of the 5th inning of the first game of the 2005 Sanyo All-Star games. More than 25,000 spectators enjoyed watching the baseball intermezzo.
Murata and Mori were both elected by the Selection Committee for Players, Shimura being elected by the Special Committee. Murata, who pitched for the Lotte Orions, was famous for his dynamic "broadax" pitching. He won 215 victories, recovering from an elbow injury. After retirement, he has been on the go across the country instructing baseball to children in hundreds of outlying islets of Japan. Mori, who now lives in comfortable retirement in Hawaii, was the pivotal catcher for the Yomiuri Giants when they won 9 consecutive victories in the Japan Series, He later managed the Seibu Lions to 2 three-consecutive victories in the Japan Series. Shimura, announcer for the NHK, was influential in popularizing baseball with his articulate and visualizing live broadcasting.
The profiles of the new inductees were projected onto the big Super Color Vision. They made their way to the ceremony around the pitcher’s mound. The managers and the All Stars of the Central and the Pacific League lined along their way and gave them a round of applause. The three plaques, which were to be permanently displayed in the Baseball Hall of Fame, were put on display there during the ceremony.
The ceremony began by presentation of the replica of the plaque to each of the inductees by Yasuchika Negoro, Chairman of Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It was followed by presentation of a bouquet from Kaneda, 1988 Hall of Famer, to Murata, from Oh, 1994 Hall of Famer, to Mori, and from Sekine, 2003 Hall of Famer, to Shimura. On behalf of the inductees, Mori made a brief thanking speech. "It is the greatest honor, happiness and pleasure for a baseball player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.Iam especially delighted beyond words because this is the very stadium where I led the Seibu Lions to many victories in the Pacific League and in the Japan Series."
Photo left: (From left to right) Murata, Mori and Shimura
Photo right: Mori speaks on behalf of the inductees
N.B. Tom O’Doul, a distant relative of Lefty O’Doul, who was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, presented each of the new inductees with a congratulatory bat, a present from Lefty O’Doul family, at the waiting room.
Summer Events at Baseball Museum
1)Baseball Study by Elementary and Junior High School Students
Until Sunday, September 4, 2005
At the Library and the Event Hall
Elementary and junior high school students are welcome to any material in the museum to study their favorite topic on baseball. The librarians will be ready to help them study, or find an adequate topic to study there.
There are inexaustible subjects to study in baseball. The baseball library will prove a great help for their study.
2)Exhibition: Baseball Around the World
Until Sunday, September 25, 2005
At the Multi-purpose Hall
Held by the Baseball Museum under the auspices of the All-Japan
Although eliminated from the London Olympics to be held in 2012, baseball has come to be played all over the world. The first inter-
national baseball event took place at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, U.S.A. IBF, the first international baseball organization, was formedin 1938 and was evolved eventually into IBAF in 1999 with its World Cup being competed with the participation of representative teams from all five continents
The Exhibition will feature the history of the International BAseball Federation and its member counties and introduce various kinds of international competitions ever held. The XXXVI Baseball World Cup is scheduled to be held in Netherlands from September 2 through September 17. The Baseball Museum wishes the Japan team a great success in the coming competition by showing several items about them in the Exhibition. At the same time, the first Asian Series, which is to be held in November 2005, will be previewed in the Exhibition.
3) Exhibition: 2005 Hall of Famers
Until Sunday, September 25, 2005
At the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The exhibition will showcase the achievements of three 2005 Hall of Famers, Choji Murata, Masaaki Mori, and Masayori Shimura with the exhibits of their artifacts, photographs and career records.
4) Demonstration of bat making
Friday, August 12, 2005 and the following day.
11:00-12:00, 13:30-14:30, 15:00-16:00 (liable to be cancelled)
At the Baseball Hall of Fame
Sponsored by the Mizuno Sporting Goods Company
The craftsman will be welcome to any questions on making bats.
Hands-on Experience of Producing a Glove by a parent-child team
13:00-16:00, Sunday, August 14, 2005
At the Baseball Hall of Fame
Entry 10 pairs of an elementary school student and his or her parent (Application is over).
Rara Avis (52)
A championship flag
Takahiro Sekiguchi, co-curator
The All-Japan Junior High School Rubber-Baseball Championship Flag was donated to our Baseball Museum from the Rubber-Baseball Division of the All-Japan Junior High School Athletic Federation. Tamotsu Ohta, chief of the Division and its officers visited the museum on May 14 and handed the flag to Fumio Kobayashi, president of the museum. It was displayed at the Amateur Baseball Corner on the spot. (See photos)
The All-Japan Junior High School Rubber-Baseball Championship Tournament began in 1979 with the participation of about 9,000 teams and 320,000 players. They go through the 47prefectural and then 9 District preliminary competitions. 16 teams (including the winner in the prefecture where the final national tournament is held) vie for the championship flag in the final competition..
A new Championship Flag, with 8 pennantlets denoting the names of the past winners attached will be given to the winner in 2005. The winner is privileged, as the previous winners were, to keep it for a year.
Column: Much to See, Much to Enjoy (15)
Pleasure of visiting baseball museums in America (cont.)
Akira Matsubara, supporter of the Baseball Museum
After dwelling on some of those museums owned by the 30 MLB baseball clubs, I will write about a few of those baseball museums which honor individual players. In the next issue, I will deal with local museums.
(N.B. Of many baseball museums and halls of fame the writer visited, he cites Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, New Jersey, Ty Cobb Museum in Royston, Georgia, Roger Maris Museum within West Acres Regional Shopping Center in Fargo, North Dakota, Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum and Sports Legend Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and Cal Ripken Museum in Aberdeen, Maryland, Regrettably the translator limits himself to transcribing only one of them,)
The most impressive one was Ty Cobb Museum, which is housed within Ty Cobb Health Care Center in Royston, Georgia. It is a small town, about a two-hour drive from Atlanta. When a boy, Ty Cobb was told by his father to be a lawyer or a doctor. He became neither of them. After his retirement, however, he donated a health care, rehabilitation center to his home town. It was really moving to see him deeply held in reverence there.
Reiko Yamane, Librarian
The All-Japan High School Baseball Championship Tournament is now in full swing at Koshien Stadium. All the participating teams ought to win in their local prefectural preliminary competitions to be represented in the Summer Tournament. All of the baseball fans will be interested in tracing the history of high school baseball in each of 47 prefectures by looking into those related reference books available at the Baseball Library.
A) 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 Member
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.
B) News from the Baseball Museum
1) Changes in officials
New Directors Hiroshi Mikitani, Owner of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
Teruhiko Kadowaki, Executive director of the Tokyo Dome
New Trustees Kiyoaki Suzuki, Director of Hiroshima Toyo Carp
Norio Ohyama, Executive director of All-Japan
Rubber Baseball Assoxiation
Masaaki Asai, director of the Tokyo Dome
Retiring Director Seiji Tsuchiya
Trustees Kenji Anan
2) Renewal of Home Page design
With the accesses reaching 9,220,000, we have completely renovated the Website. The Baseball Museum is being introduced in 6 categories:History, Hall of Fame, Exhibits, Artifacts & Collections, Library and Publications.
3) On sale
a) "Kattobashi" It costs ¥1,890 (for men and women) and ¥1,575 (for children) and has the logo of the BHFM. Also available are those chopsticks featuring each of the 12 pro baseball teams. (for men only.)
The chopsticks are made of broken bats and the term is a Portmanteau word: "kattobase" (Slam it outta here!) + "hashi" (chopsticks).
b) Full Swing pin "Full swing" is the catchphrase for the 2005 NPB.
The pin costs ¥300 (tax included).
4) Announcement Inductees Remembered is to appear in the next issue.
C) Introduction of the Baseball Museum
The entrance is located to the right of Gate 21 of the 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 at Tokyo Dome
N.B. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open every day until September 4. It will be closed on September 5, 12, 26 and October 3, 17, 24 and 31.
p.8 Essay (21):
Midsummer Day Dream
Member of the Selection Committee for Players
"On a certain day in 20.., the Tokyo Bigs, suffering from the dwindling spectators, finally decided on a drastic way of attracting baseball fans to their stadium......" This is the very beginning of a futuristic baseball novel which I have been hatching for some time. My novel goes on like this. A prestigious baseball club has had poor seasons. The club analyzes the past 50,000 games and with a help from IT industry, it has produced thousands of fans-orientated maneuvers to be used in games. Having confidential support from opposing clubs, it manipulates its players and succeeds in attracting thousands of applauding spectators. In the end, however, the players revolt against the tyranny of computers and manage to win the pennant by themselves.
A declining popularity of pro baseball has been much talked about and the Inter-League games were introduced for the first time to the NPB to stop the trend.. The average attendance of all the clubs of the Pacific League during the period exceeded that of those games preceding to it. It seems that almost all of the 12 clubs, especially the Hanshin Tigers, were satisfied with the results.
What has prompted me write an imaginary story is the recent downfall of the once flourishing Yomiuri Giants. It is true that the club executives have a sense of growing crisis and are reportedly ready to reorganize the team to make it stronger again. But the reappearance of the strongest team itself is not always welcome. The Giants boasted the leadership in pro baseball for a long time. It is to be hoped that the Giants will become a model of baseball teams of all levels, pro and amateur. in every sense of the word. Think what the Giants were when they won 9 consecutive victories in the Japan Series. They had everything to entertain the spectators. The Giants should not play the second fiddle to the now predominant Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and Hanshin Tigers.