Episode 108: American Pastime

1:20:43
 
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This week on Play Ball: Baseball at the Movies, we’re talking about the little-known American Pastime, about the baseball leagues in the Japanese-American Internment Camps during World War II. First up, we give some historical background on the internment camps, walk through the plot (5:20) and review the film (23:34). Then, on Inside Baseball, we discuss the history of baseball in Japanese American communities (32:00) and give a rundown of the many baseball leagues played in the Internment Camps (36:16). Rounding second, we highlight some major baseball figures from the camps, including Kenichi Zenimura, the “Father of Japanese-American baseball” (45:07) and famous MLB scout George Omachi, whose life took him from the camps all the way to the Major Leagues (54:53). Rounding third, we discuss Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese baseball player to play in Major League Baseball (1:00:10) and highlight the incredible career of the one and only Ichiro Suzuki (1:06:50). Sliding into home, we rate the film (1:16:15) and preview next week’s Season 1 Finale.

Read more on Major League Scout George Omachi: https://sabr.org/node/27240

Check out Ansel Adams’ “Baseball game at Manzanar, 1943”: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ansel_Adams,_Baseball_game_at_Manzanar,_1943.jpg

See the original home plate from the Manzanar Internment Camp’s baseball diamond http://www.nationalparksgallery.com/item/10839?order=added_desc

Play Ball: Baseball at the Movies is produced by Paul LeSchofs and Andrew Knopp. Our theme music, Slow Burn, was created by Kevin MacLeod. Our mascot was designed by Yehudi Mercado. Our intro uses clips from the following films from which we do not claim any ownership: Field of Dreams (Universal Pictures), The Natural (TriStar Pictures), Moneyball (Columbia Pictures), The Sandlot (20th Century Fox), Bull Durham (Orion Pictures), and A League of Their Own (Columbia Pictures). Follow us on Twitter @BaseballPodShow and Instragram @playballpodcast.

*Discussions regarding current baseball news may be out of date.

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