Friday, April 25, 2014

Zenimura Biography Now Available at Manzanar

CHANDLER, AZ (April 25, 2014) The award-winning biography, Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer, by baseball historian and author Bill Staples, Jr., is now available for sale in the Manzanar Store, located at the Manzanar National Historic Site in California. The Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.

The Manzanar Store is operated by Manzanar History Association (MHA), and features a wide selection of books, DVDs, art prints, posters, T-shirts and other gift items. Purchases from the Manzanar Store directly support educational and interpretive programs at Manzanar National Historic Site.

Baseball at Manzanar
Baseball was a powerful symbol of an American way of life; it boosted morale and brought some sense of normalcy to a confined community. In the words of Takeo Suo: "Putting on a baseball uniform was like wearing the American flag."

Photo: Baseball game, Manzanar Relocation Center,
by Ansel Adams, 1943.
By the summer of 1942 , nearly 100 men's and 14 women's baseball teams were playing a full schedule of games. Teams like the San Fernando Aces and San Pedro Gophers came intact from their pre-war communities while other teams formed in camp. The ManzaKnights grew out of a young men's social club; older men formed their own league. Women's teams included the Dusty Chicks and Modernaires.

Thousands of fans gathered at Manzanar's main baseball field for epic match-ups between the Scorpions, Padres, Has-Beens, and other teams in the camp's 12 leagues.

"Baseball is just one of the many prominent interpretive stories we tell at Manzanar," said Maggie Wittenburg, Executive Director of the MHA. "We have a few baseball DVDs, a t-shirt, a kid's book, and our own baseballs, but no reading matter for adults. Now we have the biography of Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer, to add to the array."

The Zenimura biography received the the 2012 SABR Baseball Research Award, which honors outstanding research projects that have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball.

To learn more about the Manzanar Store and the Manzanar History Association, visit: http://manzanarstore.com.

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