Kaplan: The Bookshelf conversation with Rob Fitts

From SABR member Ron Kaplan at Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf on June 15, 2015, with SABR member Rob Fitts:

Books have been written about the use of baseball as an imperialist tool by the United States. We send people to foreign countries; they bring baseball with them, and pretty soon the residents of those foreign have embraced the game to a degree even more enthusiastic than back in the good ole U.S.A.

Case in point: Japan. Many fine books have been written about how the game took root in the Land of the Rising Sun, how fans there are so much more enthusiastic than America fans, with organized cheering and other customs.

Rob Fitts, a former archeologist who holds a PhD in anthropology from Brown, developed an affinity for the Japanese game to the point that he now has three books on the subject under his belt. His first, Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball, published in 2008 (that’s the author with his subject in the photo below), was followed by Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan which won SABR’s 2013 Seymour Medal for Best Baseball Book of 2012, as well as other critical recognition. In this video, he speaks about Moe Berg’s involvement in that tour.

Read the full article here: http://www.ronkaplansbaseballbookshelf.com/2015/06/15/the-bookshelf-conversation-rob-fitts/

Originally published: June 19, 2015. Last Updated: June 19, 2015.