Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/429

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
397
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

two games during a single week. Already the Japs have played three games here—May 17, winning from the L. A. High School team by the score of 5 to 3; May 18, when Caucasian triumphed over Mongolian, Occidental winning by a score of 6 to 5, and May 20, when Red and Brown met, with disaster to the Native Sons by a score of 12 to 7. In all these contests Kono, a veritable iron man, did the twirling, showing marked improvement in each successive game.

"All these contests were witnessed by large crowds, the attendance at the Jap-Indian game being by far the largest of the series. During this game, which stands as an event unique in the annals of Base Ball, the Orientals from Japan had it over the Aborigines during all stages of the game, with the exception of the sixth inning, when the Sherman braves with a whoop broke from the reservation and went tearing madly about until six of them had scored before Field Marshal Hashido and his aides drove them back.

"The Japanese players represent the Waseda Imperial University and are being sent on a tour of the United States at the expense of the government. They have been coached by Fred Merrifleld, an American, who is a professor in the university. When he first introduced the American game he was startled by the rapid manner in which the brown men picked it up. They were playing good amateur ball in no time. As they improved, a trip to the United States was talked of, and finally the government made the appropriation. The touring party includes: I. Abe, manager; Fred Merrifleld, coach and trainer; K. Hashido, shortstop and captain; M. Obara, center field; A. Kono, pitcher; S. Suyama, third base; M. Yamawaki, catcher; U. Swzuki, left field; K. Shishiuchi, right field; K. Oshikawa, second base; S. Izumitani, first base; S. Morimoto and S. Tachihara, substitutes. After completing their engagements on this Coast the team will go to Chicago.

"When it comes to handling the ball these little brown men are all stars, but when it comes to a wise interpretation of the rules they get up against it. The other day the Japs were playing a tight game against Stanford. With a Jap on first base, no outs and the score tied, the Jap at bat hit the ball straight into the air back of first base. The runner on first crouched for the start and the minute the catch was made, zing! he was off for second. Of course he was thrown out by something like forty feet, and when their traveling Jap Base Ball coach was asked to unravel this play he responded something like this: 'Well, you see, sar, the rule he say the runner he shall not proceed until the ball he is catch. So he wait for the ball to be catch and then he go down to the number two base. Is it not correct to follow the rules of the game?'

"And the sport who asked the questions went away and batted his head against an oak tree. The Japs have the old Indian trick of 'sighting' with the ball before throwing it. Some of them have