Friday 18th August 2017,

Bad Ass Asians

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SF Gate: The Jackie Robinson for Japanese ballplayers returns to San Francisco

posted by Randall

Masanori MurakamiMasanori Murakami doesn’t think he did anything special.

But Major League ball players like Ichiro Suzuki, Hideo Nomo and Yu Darvish might disagree.

Murakami became the first player of Japanese descent to play in the Major Leagues when he debut for the San Francisco Giants 50 years ago.

He returned to San Francisco Thursday for Japanese American Heritage Night and a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Florida Marlins, reports SF Gate.

Unlike today’s Japanese ballplayers who signed huge contracts out of Japan and jumped right into the Major League, Murakami worked his way up from the Giants’ minor league team, the Fresno Giants.

Then manager Bill Werle gathered the team together and warned them not to use the derogatory shortcut for the word “Japanese.” But then he went on to tell the team he was afraid Murakami would commit “hara kari” if he heard the slur.

You can read about how the players treated Murakami in Fresno and his recollections of his first game in the Major Leagues in SF Gate.

You can also check out the clip below of the ceremony commemorating Murakami in the clip below from SFGiants.com.

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