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Monday, February 11, 2019

1922 US Baseball Tour Of Japan

Not considered one of the more memorable goodwill baseball tours by American MLB (Major League Baseball) stars to the land of the rising sun (try finding information on it!!!), the 1922 tour nonetheless still featured such stars as Casey Stengel - still a player until 1925 - right-handed pitcher Waite Hoyte, 1B George Kelly, and lefty pitcher Herb Pennock - all members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The cap above is a replica, but shows what the MLB players wore during their tour.

The 1922 tour was led by former Boston Red Sox utility 3B player Herb Hunter - his second, as he also organized a team consisting of major league and minor league American ball players in 1921... and again in 1931, this one featuring more well-known stars such as Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, and Mickey Cochrane - all great players and all future hall of famers.

While the American professionals were extremely dominant during the 1922 tour, the Japanese thought they were poor sports for apparently "throwing" a game against a local amateur team from Mita - a district in Tokyo.

In other words, the American's thought they were doing the nice "western" thing of letting the hosts win, but in reality the Japanese respected people when a true effort is given - regardless of the result.

Below, is a photo being offered for sale by the estate of George Kelly (one of the players) from the 1922 tour. You can bid on it HERE.

I believe there is a "G Kelly" autograph on the reverse - so baseball autograph collectors take note.
Andrew Joseph

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