You are invited to celebrate the life of Wayne Graczyk, longtime columnist for The Japan Times and Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ) member. Wayne passed away on April 19, 2017 while in Kumamoto to help Nippon Television cover a countryside game between the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
He was a fixture in the Japanese baseball and English-language sports communities for over three decades.
Graczyk, born on July 9, 1948, was a native of New Jersey and came to Japan as a member of the U.S. Air Force in 1969. He was stationed in Fukuoka, where he eventually met and married his wife, Yoshiko. He later moved to Tokyo, where he attended Sophia University, graduating in 1977.
He began writing his "Baseball Bullet-In" column for The Japan Times in 1976, after mailing the paper's editors about mistakes in a game story he had read, and eventually ended up being hired to write a column.
He also served as the sports editor for the Tokyo Weekender for nearly 30 years. For the Nippon Television Network (NTV), Graczyk attended every Giants home game and interviewed the foreign players from both teams. He would then translate and report the information gleaned to that day's Japanese radio and TV announcers roughly 30 minutes before the end of the visiting team's batting practice.
Graczyk also contributed to Baseball America and other outlets during his long career in and around Japanese baseball. He called Giants games in English for NTV for several seasons and also served as a public address announcer for some NCAA college football games at Tokyo Dome.
He was best known to MLB scouts and teams for his Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide. The guide was first published in 1976 and each edition has contained full rosters and the previous year's statistics for each team, some historical figures and other information.
Each season's guide has become essential reading for MLB scouts in Japan who secure multiple copies for themselves and team executives back home.
The media guide, which Graczyk compiled himself every offseason, was also snapped up by foreign fans living in Japan, tourists, and online orders throughout the world.
You can learn more about the guide and purchase it:
Graczyk is survived by his wife, Yoshiko; a son, Randy; and a daughter, Gayle.
If you are planning to attend, please inform the FCCJ reception desk by phone at 03-3211-3161 or by e-mail at email@example.com so that the club staff can make appropriate preparations.
Please also let Marty Kuehnert know of your plans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let them know as soon as possible of your planned attendance.
Here is info about the location:
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan Yurakucho Denki North Building 20F Yurakucho 1-7-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0006
Here is the web address of the FCCJ: http://www.fccj.or.jp
Marty, a close friend of Wayne and his family, has graciously been working with Wayne's family during this time. He notes that if you would like to send them anything you can do so at:
Randy Graczyk Tiaro Residence, Unit 4319 2-3-2 Harumi Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0053 Japan
Marty also mentioned that there is no charge for this gathering, even though food will be provided, because Wayne was a long-term member of the FCCJ.
There was the thought of having a door charge, then giving that to Yoshiko, but the club does not allow such charges.
However, if you would like to bring a "koden" - 香典 (condolence money), it will be given to Yoshiko after the service. You can hand your envelopes to any memorial committee members who will be on hand. This is totally optional, Marty notes.
As Marty says, "We all look forward to seeing you on May 20th for a wonderful send-off for our beloved Wayne."
You are encouraged to circulate this information. The hope is to have large gathering to honor Wayne and his family.