The Sports Bookie -- Highly recommended reading

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Author Rob Fitts is a writer, researcher and detective rolled all into one. And if you love reading about intrigue as it pertains to baseball, give "Banzai Babe Ruth" a look.

Fitts won SABR's 2013 Seymour Medal for the book. It is the story of an American League all-star team, featuring Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove, which barnstormed Japan in November 1934. Fitts goes into plenty of detail about the tour, but also about the political climate in Japan in the years leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Fitts is no stranger to Japanese baseball, having written several articles on the subject. He also authored two books: “Remembering Japanese Baseball,” and a biography of Wally Yonamine, the first American to play professionally in Japan after World War II. His Japanese baseball card collection is extensive.

Fitts’ knowledge of Japanese culture is also vast, thanks to his research and from personal experience. His wife Sarah spent her senior year of high school in Japan as an exchange student, majored in Japanese history in college, and worked professionally in Japan for two years as an “exchange lawyer” for her firm.

Here is the review I wrote last April on Fitts' book:

And here is SABR's news release about the Seymour Medal:

If you love baseball history with a twist, this book is for you. I recommend it highly.