From Round to Square (and back)

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Besuboru Guy—Larry Doby

Click here for the "Celebrity Commentary" Resource Center—(all posts available)
Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Celebrity Commentary" (coming soon)
This is a "small" (小) post—click here for an explanation of Round and Square post lengths.
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On this day in Round and Square History
2 August 2012—The Accidental Ethnographer: Mammoth, Masterful, Immortal China
2 August 2011—Longevity Mountain: Stone Cold Poetic

[a] Individual and Society RF
可飛ばせ, 細川!
Let 'er rip, Hosokawa!  OR
Fly to base, Hosokawa!
—Common Japanese baseball chant
(Hosokawa is a common (enough) surname, like "Bradley")

And one of the all-time greats—icons, in fact—who let 'er rip (and flew to base) was the American Hall of Famer, Larry Doby.

You may recall that Larry Doby broke the color barrier in the American League just six months after Jackie Robinson started with the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

[b] Dragon barrier RF
His is a story of success (a World Series title with his Negro Leagues teammate Satchel Paige and the Cleveland Indians), relative historical anonymity ("second" doesn't usually get the play that "first" does, just ask Buzz Aldrin or, better yet, Michael Collins), and grit. 

He was great though, and that was just in American baseball.

Larry Doby Bio

But there is more. At the age of thirty-nine, Doby went with an (American) Major League baseball cohort that held a series of baseball events (not games, but "teachin' stuff").

And there is even more. He liked it so much that he stayed and played the entire Japanese baseball season in 1962—the third American to do so. He and the Chunichi Dragons will always now be linked in Japanese baseball lore. Only in the United States would being second and third in these weighty cultural matters be almost forgotten.

But Larry Doby is not forgotten in Japan. He is the stuff of statuary.

[If you don't read Japanese, but want to have some sense of the Japanese kana and kanji in these posts, just copy the phrases and paste them into translation software such as Babylon or Google Translate].
[c] Statuesque RF
[Originally posted on August 23, 2014]

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