A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the U.S.-Japan Council; LIMIT TWO PER ORDER
Baseball hasn’t seen a player with such prowess at the plate and on the mound since Babe Ruth…and “The Babe” certainly couldn’t run as fast and smooth as “Sho Time” does! Ohtani was a high school phenom unlike any other in Japan, and absolutely lived up to the hype. In five breathtaking seasons playing for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani accumulated enough awards for a lifetime, including:
- Japan Series champion (2016)
- 5× NPB All-Star (2013–2017)
- Pacific League MVP (2016)
- 2× Pacific League Pitcher Best Nine (2015–2016)
- Designated Hitter Best Nine (2016)
- Pacific League ERA leader (2015)
- Pacific League Battery Award, with Shota Ono (2015)
Then, in 2018, it was on to MLB’s Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani turned down the opportunity to reach free agency and earn a more lucrative contract to be able to test himself earlier against MLB hitters and pitchers. He knew that he was ready, and it showed, as he won the American League Rookie of the Year unanimously.
Since then, after overcoming some injures, he has emerged into unquestionably the best player in baseball. One of baseball’s most dominant pitchers on the mound is also one of its most feared at the plate. Ohtani put it all together in 2021, winning the American League’s MVP award unanimously. At just 27 years old (as of the start of the 2022 season), Ohtani has the potential to become one of baseball’s all-time greats.
Acclaimed author Robert Whiting is best known for his bestseller You Gotta Have Wa!, published in 1989. And he burst back onto the Japanese baseball scene with 2004’s The Meaning of Ichiro. But it all started with The Chrysanthemum and the Bat: The Game Japanese Play.
We are working with Mr. Whiting to make this book available to you with a personalized messaged in your name (or whatever name you request) and signature from the author!
Whiting moved to Japan in 1962 and found that whenever he talked to his friends back in the U.S., they always wanted to hear more of his stories of Japanese baseball. Nothing about the country’s fascinating history of rulers, the rapid transformation of Tokyo, or the perfect balance between Buddhism and Shinto – just baseball. But Whiting found that baseball was actually the perfect vehicle to talk about Japan’s unique national character.
Motivated by a $500 bet that he wouldn’t write a book within a year (as explained to JapanBall’s “Chatter Up” audience in August 2021), Whiting compiled his observations of Japan’s culture- exemplified through baseball – into this wonderful book that TIME named its 1977 sports book of the year.