A non-profit organization founded to preserve the history of Japanese American baseball (The Nisei Baseball Research Project), recently discovered never-before-seen footage of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and members of the Japanese American all-stars from 1927. The 18mm film was shot 87 years ago in Fresno, CA, during Ruth’s and Gehrig’s barnstorming tour of the west coast after the 1927 World Series.
The film shows parts of a game between the Bustin’ Babes and Larrupin Lou’s that occurred on October 29, 1927. Lou was joined by Japanese American all-stars Johnny Nakagawa, Kenichi Zenimura, Fred Yoshikawa and Harvey Iwata and the Larrupin Lou’s beat the Bustin’ Babes, 13-3.
This framed photo is at the Fireman's Ballpark in Fresno and shows Johnny Nakagawa, Lou Gehrig, Kenichi Zenimura, Babe Ruth, Fred Yoshikawa and Harvey Iwata.
Many Japanese American ballplayers had the skills to play the game at the professional level, but were not welcome in the MLB in Babe’s time. Instead they played in leagues of their own and became America’s baseball ambassadors across the Pacific. Kenichi Zenimura is now known as the “Father of Japanese American Baseball” and was instrumental in negotiations that led to Babe Ruth’s barnstorming tour of Japan in 1934.
The winning bidder may pick up the items at the Center during normal business hours, or arrange shipping via U.S. Mail at standard industry rates at the winning bidder’s expense. All items must be claimed within 1 month of notification. Unclaimed items may be placed back up for auction with no refund to the winning bidder. Please feel free to call us at 415-567-5505 with any questions.
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