The event started around 7 in the evening. Rob, Mashi and documentary film maker Yuriko Gamo Romer were introduced and came out and sat up at the front of the room. After some preliminary comments from Rob, they ran a short clip from Yuriko's current work-in-progress - a film on US and Japanese relations over baseball that is centered around Mashi called "Diamond Diplomacy". Rob then gave a talk describing the contents of the book, illustrated with a slide show and punctuated with comments from Mashi. For example, Rob pointed out that Mashi's first base hit in the majors was off of Sandy Koufax. Mashi then described the at bat in which he got the hit - a bunt up the third baseline - and expressed disappointment that he didn't get the ball. (To be complete, Mashi's only other major league hit was off of Ted Davidson of the Reds - in fairness to him, as a relief pitcher he didn't get many at bats - only 16 in the 54 games he appeared in.) Once the presentation was completed, Rob and Mashi took a couple questions from the crowd but they only had time for maybe three before they needed to get set up for the autograph session. There were a lot of people at the event (one of the Barnes & Noble employees said that it could properly be referred to as a "throng") so there was a lot of autographing to be done. Mashi was kind enough to sign both my copy of the book (that Rob had already signed as it was my premium for having donated to his Kickstarter campaign) as well as a promo baseball card that Rob had had printed up for the book:
Here's some photos from the event:
|Outside the Barnes & Noble|
|Sign for the event|
|Yuriko, Mashi and Rob being introduced by the Barnes & Noble employee|
|Rob at the podium|
|Watching the clip from "Diamond Diplomacy"|
I want to close by talking a little bit about "Diamond Diplomacy". The clip that Yuriko shared was very interesting, talking about the introduction of baseball in Japan by Horace Wilson in 1931, followed by some clips of the 1934 MLB All Star and the 1949 Seals tours before moving into the Mashi story. At dinner I asked Yuriko about the clips from the 1949 Seals tour - I was surprised to see that she had color footage. She said that the father of a friend of hers was a player on that tour and that they were home movies of his. She added that her project originally was going to only be about the Seals tour but as she learned more about the context of the tour, the project grew much broader. I really look forward to seeing the final film.
She had promo postcards for the film at Barnes & Noble:
I also found this clip of hers on YouTube that shares some of the footage with what she showed last night:
The tour continues with stops in Rhinebeck, NY and at the Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown this weekend before going to California next week.
UPDATE - Zippy Zappy was at the event as well.
ADDITIONAL UPDATE - NPB Reddit contributor kndy2099 attended Mashi's event in Fresno and contributed links to photos and a video in a post on the sub.