Thanks to a tip from my friend Steve I decided to attend the Masanori aka Mashi Murakami book signing at Whittier College. As all of my readers know I'm a huge fan of collecting baseball autographs of players with Asian heritage so I had to attend this event. It was actually a paid signing with the cost of the book at $25 with each outside item costing $25 as well.
I arrived at the event around 7pm and the event was scheduled to start at 7:30pm. The author of the book Robert Fitts and Masanori Murakami were scheduled to have a discussion about Japanese baseball and Mashi's role as the first ever MLB player of Japanese heritage. There was also a Q and A session after the discussion.
One of the more memorable anecdotes Mashi told us was when Roberto Clemente asked him who was better; Willie Mays or himself. Mashi told Clemente that Mays was better and later on asked Roberto for his autograph. Another funny thing that Mashi mentioned was when he jokingly said that Sandy Koufax was "so-so" since he was able to get a hit off of him.
Afterwards the organizers set up an autograph table.
I ended up getting three baseballs signed one of which was for my friend Rich in New York who couldn't make it out to the signing. Mashi was kind enough to inscribe and write in Kanji for me as well. I also had a photo op with him.
It was an honor to meet the pioneer of Japanese baseball players in major league baseball. I want to give a shout out to all the local graphers including Spencer, Ronny, Roberto, Scotty and Jack. I also want to thank Whittier College for running such a well organized event.