Friday, March 1, 2013

Two Public Events Scheduled to Commemorate Zenimura Field 70th Anniversary

This spring marks the 70th anniversary of when baseball behind barbed wire officially began in Arizona with the opening of the historic ball field at Gila River designed by "The Father of Japanese American Baseball," Kenichi Zenimura. To commemorate this anniversary, the Nisei Baseball Research Project has partnered with several organizations in Phoenix, including: The Oakland A's (spring training), the Gila River Indian Community, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) - Arizona Chapter, the City of Chandler Library and the Chandler Historical Society. The public is invited to participate in the following events:


Oakland A's Honor the Legacy of Japanese American Baseball
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 1 pm
Phoenix Municipal Stadium
5999 East Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008 | Map Link

Event Summary | This spring training game between the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners will honor the 70th Anniversary of Zenimura Field, marking the official start of baseball behind barbed wire at the Japanese American Internment Camp at Gila River, AZ. The game will feature a special national anthem and a first-pitch ceremony with former Gila River ballplayers Kenso Zenimura, Tets Furukawa and Masao Iriyama. The game will also feature Japanese American baseball trivia, contests and promotional giveaways. The Nisei Baseball Research Project, the non-profit founded to preserve the history of Japanese American baseball, will also offer an informational display.

To order tickets, visit http://www.OaklandAthletics.com/Spring
Note: Use promotional code JA70 to receive a $4 discount.


From Internment to Hope: Arizona Celebrates Japanese American Baseball
Saturday, March 9, 2013, 10:30 to noon
Chandler Sunset Library
4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler, AZ, 85226 | Map Link

Event Summary | Chandler’s Sunset Library will host a free presentation from 10:30 a.m. to noon on March 9, 2013, that will share first-hand accounts of an important time in Arizona history that combines the topics of war, politics, race relations, and sports. “From Internment to Hope: Arizona Celebrates Japanese American Baseball” will honor the legacy of Japanese American baseball and its connection to the State's history during World War II, when more than 13,000 Japanese Americans were confined at the Gila River Internment Camp, located south of Chandler.

Baseball historian, author, and Chandler Parks Board member Bill Staples will share the story of baseball at Gila River, and he will be joined by three former ballplayers in the camp – Kenso Zenimura, Tets Furukawa, and Masao Iriyama. These pioneers will share their perspective on camp life and how the game of baseball helped break down barriers between the internees and surrounding community, and created a sense of hope for those behind the barbed wire.

Learn more >>

4 comments:

  1. Youre so awesome, man! I cant believe I missed this blog for so long. Its just great stuff all round. Your design, man…too amazing! I cant wait to read what youve got next. I love everything that youre saying and want more, more, MORE! Keep this up, man! Its just too good.
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    1. Thanks for the kind words. If you like this info, then you might enjoy joining the community of Japanese American baseball enthusiasts at www.facebook.com/NiseiBaseball. Check it out.

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  2. Bill,

    It was nice to say hi to you in Chandler. I heard you speak at the library a few years back, so when you said I looked familiar I was impressed with your memory. Then, I thought I might have met you thru real estate, as I am a Realtor.

    But then, it dawned on me. You came out and played vintage base ball a few months back. I've been playing it for 3 years now. We've been hoping you'd come out again. Matter of fact, we play tomorrow in Glendale. I can't make it, but you should play again. I think they start at 1 pm, but I'm not sure.

    Hope to see you soon.

    Pat

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