Asian Pacific Americans and Baseball

A History


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About the Book

With the rise of stars such as Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, and now Daisuke Matsuzaka, fans today can easily name players from the island country of Japan. Less widely known is that baseball has long been played on other Pacific islands, in pre-statehood Hawaii, for instance, and in Guam, Samoa and the Philippines. For the multiethnic peoples of these U.S. possessions, the learning of baseball was actively encouraged, some would argue as a means to an unabashedly colonialist end.
As early as the deadball era, Pacific Islanders competed against each other and against mainlanders on the diamond, with teams like the Hawaiian Travelers barnstorming the States, winning more than they lost against college, semi-pro, and even professional nines. For those who moved to the mainland, baseball eased the transition, helping Asian Pacific Americans create a sense of community and purpose, cross cultural borders, and—for a few—achieve fame.

About the Author(s)

Joel S. Franks is a lecturer of Asian American studies and American studies at San Jose State University, and has written several books about Asian American and sports history. He lives in Cupertino, California.

Bibliographic Details

Joel S. Franks
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3291-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      5

I. Baseball and Imperial America in the Philippines and Hawaii      15

II. Baseball and Asian Pacific American Communities on the Hawaiian Islands      35

III. Baseball and Asian Pacific American Communities on the American Mainland      56

IV. Asian Pacific American Amateurs and Semi-Pros      73

V. Barnstorming the Mainland with the Hawaiian Travelers, 1912–1916      101

VI. Asian Pacific American Minor Leaguers      127

VII. Asian Pacific American Big Leaguers in the United States and Japan      157

Afterword      191

Chapter Notes      193

References      209

Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

“this book will serve as an essential reference source on Asian Pacific American baseball”—Nine; “the scope and depth of Franks’s research and merit commendation. Augmenting the literature of sports and American multiculturalism, Franks presents a fuller and more mature examination of Hawaiian baseball than previously undertaken”—Journal of Sport History.