Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on March 11, 1972 · Page 41
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 41

Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, March 11, 1972
Page 41
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It was refreshing to hear the ·manager of the Japanese baseball team, which is in spring training here, tell about the first rule handed him by the owner of the club. "Educate your young players to be gentlemen first and ballplayers second," owner Kohci Matsuda told manager Rikuo Nemoto, who is in charge of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team. "Our players arc the idols of Japanese youngsters," Ne- moto said through his interpreter, Shunkichi Kancmoto. who is employed by Matsuda's automobile company which partly owns the club. "The players must set a good example. They must dress respectably, too. Our players ·wear coats and lies whenever we travel. "And I don't judge a player by the number of games he wins or loses but what he contributes to the play of the team as a whole. Our best pitcher is Yataro Oishi but not because he won 13 games for us last year. It's because he also works in relief as well as starting games and that helps the whole team." After their regular practice each day several of the Carp By Regis McAuley Citizen iSportswrilcr players report to the Cleveland Indians side of the fence where manager Ken Aspro- munte, a former infielder, demonstrates the art of making the double-play, pivoting and getting the throw off fast. The Japanese are eager students of the game. "We marvel al your speed and technique on the field," Nemoto says. "We are impressed with the way the major league players are always working on fundamentals." The Carp (and that's the plural of the fish from which the team takes its name) played before 600,000 fans at home last season, more than the Cleveland Indians drew. They play a 130-gamc schedule in the Central League which is one of two six-team leagues in Japan, the other being the Pacific League. Tomorrow the Carp will play the first of two scheduled exhibition games against the Cleveland Indians. The two teams play again Monday. The Carp finished in a tie for fourth place last season and finished third the year before. The Japanese learn is making its first visit to Tucson al- though another team, the Lotte Orions, were here last year training with the Phoenix Giants. They live at the Flamingo Motel here where the desk clerk says, "These are lovely people. They are extremely polite and very happy people. It's a pleasure to have them around." When told of this appraisal of his players manager Nemoto said, "I am sorry we haven't come here before this and I'm looking forward to coming back. Tucson people have been wonderful to us." The team works out daily at the Emii Bossard Field behind the right field wall of Hi Cor- betl Field. The Japanese flag flies over their training site as well as the flag of Hiroshima and the Stars and Stripes. Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn was instrumental in getting the team to come here as guests of the Cleveland Indians in a gesture of good will between the nations. Baseball has been the happy meeting ground for renewed friendship and it is known that the State Department is pleased by the dual spring training session of the Cleveland Indians and Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Tucson. In Japan, the doffed hat is a sign of respect and here the members of the Hiroshima baseball team (The Carp) doff theirs in saluting Tucson. And below them, winding up, is the Carp's star pitcher, Yataro Oishi, No. 19. He won 13 games last year and worked as a relief pitcher. Cirixen P/iof.os By Bruce Hopkins SATURDAY, MARCH II, 1972 TUCSON DAILY CITIZEN PAGE 7.

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