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Banzai Babe Ruth

Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan

Fitts, Robert K., 1965-

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Banzai Babe Ruth
Univ of Nebraska
In November 1934 as the United States and Japan drifted toward war, a team of American League all-stars that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, future secret agent Moe Berg, and Connie Mack barnstormed across the Land of the Rising Sun. Hundreds of thousands of fans, many waving Japanese and American flags, welcomed the team with shouts of “Banzai! Banzai, Babe Ruth!” The all-stars stayed for a month, playing 18 games, spawning professional baseball in Japan, and spreading goodwill.

Politicians on both sides of the Pacific hoped that the amity generated by the tour—and the two nations’ shared love of the game—could help heal their growing political differences. But the Babe and baseball could not overcome Japan’s growing nationalism, as a bloody coup d’état by young army officers and an assassination attempt by the ultranationalist War Gods Society jeopardized the tour’s success. A tale of international intrigue, espionage, attempted murder, and, of course, baseball, Banzai Babe Ruth is the first detailed account of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan through the 1934 All American baseball tour. Robert K. Fitts provides a wonderful story about baseball, nationalism, and American and Japanese cultural history.

Publisher: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c2012
ISBN: 0803229844
Branch Call Number: 796.357 F
Characteristics: xvi, 319 p., [26] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Aug 18, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Babe Ruth and the All-Americans had paved the way for pro ball in Japan.

Aug 14, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Patriots" arrested for violent crimes, including assassination of elected officials, were often given short jail sentences once they explained that their actions stemmed from the love of country and emperor.

Aug 14, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

From its beginnings at Ichiko, the Japanese had infused baseball with concepts borrowed from Bushido.

Aug 14, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Baseball was Japan's most popular spectator sport,...


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Aug 14, 2014
  • SEBoiko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Story of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan through the tour of Major League All-Stars in 1934.


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Fitts, Robert K., 1965-
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