Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, January 31, 2022

Masanori Murakami, the overlooked trailblazer

The problems didn’t end there. When Murakami arrived at Shea Stadium, general manager Chub Feeney asked him to sign a new contract and officially join the team. Since he was already contracted to the organization, Murakami was wary of signing something new.

“My family and people in Japan told me to be careful with contracts because I didn’t know how Japanese contracts worked—and even worse how English contracts worked,” Murakami said. “I was very reluctant to sign on the dotted line.”

With the clock ticking and time running out, Feeney rushed to find a solution. After some frantic searching, the team found a Japanese speaker in the crowd who helped explain that Murakami needed to sign this new contract to officially join the Giants and be eligible to play. With about 15 minutes to go before first pitch, Murakami signed.

“I still believe that I am the first—and maybe the last person—to ever hesitate or deny signing a contract when Major League Baseball was just at my fingertips,” Murakami said with a laugh.

Really terrific read, I don’t think I’ve ever read this much about his story.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 10:30 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japanese baseball, masanori murakami

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. sanny manguillen Posted: January 31, 2022 at 12:14 PM (#6063196)
Clemente introduced himself and then quickly asked, "Who's better? Me or Willie Mays?"
   2. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 31, 2022 at 12:53 PM (#6063200)
Very good article. I had no idea about all the machinations between the Giants and NPB. I don't think Steve Treder's article about how great the 1966 Giants could have been with a few better decisions even covered the possibility that Murakami could have stuck around for the '66 season.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 31, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6063211)
"I was just focused on not getting tense, not getting nervous," Murakami said. "As I was walking from the bullpen, I was singing a very famous song called 'Sukiyaki' by Kyu Sakamoto. Just to keep my nerves down, I hummed the song all the way over to the mound."


So he not only was the first Japanese player in the major leagues, he also invented the entrance song for relief pitchers... :-)
   4. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:43 PM (#6063349)
good article
   5. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: February 01, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6063387)
Very cool story. Would love to know the story behind the phantom strikeout when Frank Robinson refused to get in the box!
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 01, 2022 at 04:39 PM (#6063399)
Very cool story. Would love to know the story behind the phantom strikeout when Frank Robinson refused to get in the box!


Apparently Robinson had an argument with the umpire about a call the inning before, and Frank was still upset. The ump told him to get in the batter's box, Frank refused and started arguing again, and the ump told Murakami to pitch to the empty batter's box.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 01, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6063402)
The ump told him to get in the batter's box, Frank refused and started arguing again, and the ump told Murakami to pitch to the empty batter's box.
Who was that ump, is he still alive, and if so would he be willing to come out of retirement?
   8. tonywagner Posted: February 01, 2022 at 04:57 PM (#6063404)
Who was that ump, is he still alive, and if so would he be willing to come out of retirement?


Doug Harvey, per SABR -- passed away in 2018.

...Reds superstar outfielder Frank Robinson began serving a two-game suspension in the series opener for his participation in a very heated 10-minute argument at home plate on August 5 with umpire Doug Harvey. Harvey had called strike two and three on Robinson while he outside the batter’s box. Both Robinson and Reds Manager Dick Sisler were ejected from the game and Robinson also received the additional two-game suspension.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Ray (CTL)
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRob Manfred wants you to know: He doesn't hate baseball, he wants to save it
(28 - 3:02am, Jun 30)
Last: Doug Jones threw harder than me

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for Wednesday, June 29, 2022
(52 - 1:10am, Jun 30)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogFrustrated Mike Trout Spots His Own Pitcher Tipping Pitches While Standing in Center Field
(44 - 1:06am, Jun 30)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogThe Orioles Aren’t Good… But They Are Interesting
(10 - 12:51am, Jun 30)
Last: Walt Davis

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(3491 - 12:37am, Jun 30)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogRanking the home uniforms of all 30 MLB teams
(3 - 12:20am, Jun 30)
Last: Baseballs Most Beloved Figure

NewsblogRays minority owners sue principal owner over 'fraudulent transfer,' other claims
(1 - 12:05am, Jun 30)
Last: cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE

NewsblogFreddie Freeman changing agents over how Braves-Dodgers free agency played out, per report
(39 - 10:51pm, Jun 29)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogSeattle Mariners acquire first baseman Carlos Santana from Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHPs Wyatt Mills, William Fleming
(26 - 10:27pm, Jun 29)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBoston media explodes after Red Sox blow it without unvaccinated closer Houck
(58 - 10:00pm, Jun 29)
Last: bookbook

NewsblogSOURCES: OVER 100 PLAYERS REJECT DRAFT COMBINE PHYSICAL; VOID DRAFT BONUS GUARANTEE
(3 - 9:29pm, Jun 29)
Last: Walt Davis

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1918 Results
(6 - 8:58pm, Jun 29)
Last: kenna

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1920 Ballot
(25 - 8:55pm, Jun 29)
Last: kenna

Sox TherapyHey Now
(11 - 7:54pm, Jun 29)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for Tuesday, June 28, 2022
(48 - 1:25pm, Jun 29)
Last: Cris E

Page rendered in 0.3756 seconds
45 querie(s) executed