BILL STAPLES, JR. is an award-winning baseball historian and author. He’s a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) in Arizona with a passion for researching and telling the untold stories of the “international pastime.” His areas of expertise include Japanese American and Negro Leagues baseball history as a context for exploring the themes of civil rights, cross-cultural relations and globalization.

He’s the board President of the Japanese American Citizens League-Arizona Chapter, board member for the Nisei Baseball Research Project, chairman of the SABR Asian Baseball Committee, and research contributor to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

Bill is the author of Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer (McFarland, 2011), and co-authored Gentle Black Giants: A History of Negro Leaguers in Japan (NBRP Press, 2019) with Japanese baseball historian, Kazuo Sayama. He has contributed to multiple journals and publications, and received the SABR Baseball Research Award in 2012 for the Zenimura biography and in 2020 for the article, “Early Baseball Encounters in the West: The Yeddo Royal Japanese Troupe Play Ball in America, 1872”. 

Bill lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his wife and two children, where he proudly served on the City of Chandler Parks & Recreation Board. In 2006 his proposal to name Nozomi Park was approved by the Chandler City Council. “Nozomi” is the Japanese word for “hope” and was selected to honor all 30,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated in Arizona during WWII and the role baseball played in helping to create a sense of normalcy behind barbed wire.

At the state-wide level, he secured two proclamations from the Arizona Governor’s Office (Kenichi Zenimura Day, 2005; Spirit of Sportsmanship Day, 2006), while his Zenimura biography was named an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission in 2012. This accolade designates Zenimura's time at the Gila River internment camp during WWII as one of the most significant events of Arizona history in the past 100 years.

Staples holds an MBA from Arizona State University, a BA in advertising/journalism from the University of North Texas, and is a marketing and communications professional with over 25 years of experience with non-profit and for-profit companies in the healthcare, education and information technology industries.

You can learn more about Bill and his work at