Let’s Play Two: Baseball in Japan & the U.S.

Passing the Torch
Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 8:00 PM

Baseball–the national pastime of both Japan and the U.S.–will be featured at the Tokyo Summer Games for the first time since 2008. As a lead-up to the 150th anniversary of baseball in Japan, this discussion covers differences in the game in both countries, the popularity of the sport, experiences playing through the pandemic, and prospects for baseball at the Tokyo Summer Games. Participants include Warren Cromartie, outfielder and first baseman from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants), Major League Baseball (Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals), and 1989 NPB MVP; Matt Murton, popular MLB outfielder (Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies) and 2010 NPB single-season hit record breaker (Hanshin Tigers); Leon Lee, who played for 7 years in the U.S. (St. Louis Cardinals) and 10 years in Japan (Lotte Orions, Yokohama Taiyō Whales, Yakult Swallows) and went on to become the first African American manager in Japan in 2003 (Orix Blue Wave); and Robert Whiting, a journalist and author of You Gotta Have Wa (on baseball in Japan), Tokyo Underworld and his latest release, Tokyo Junkie. Moderated by director Yuriko Gamo Romer, whose upcoming film, Diamond Diplomacy, explores the relationship between the U.S. and Japan through a shared love of baseball.