May 7, 2011
Fresno Grizzlies Nisei Baseball Tribute Night.
The Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball team honored the Japanese-American Nisei (2nd generation) baseball leagues in the Central Valley with a Nisei Baseball Tribute Night.
(Click on photo to ENLARGE.)
PHOTO: Standing (L-R): Satoshi "Fibber" Hirayama (Poston 227-2-A), Howard Zenimura, Ben Mitsuyoshi, Lefty Nishijima, Kerry Nakagawa, Travis Ishikawa, (grandson of Amache, CO internee), George Yamamoto, Mas Takemoto, and James Morioka (Poston 305-10-A). Bottom (L-R): Kale Nakagawa, George Toyama, Sab Yamada, Nori Masuda and Brandon Zenimura.
The Grizzly pregame ceremony honored the Nisei baseball players that played for the Fresno Athletic Club and legendary Kenichi Zenimura. Three Nisei who played for the Hiroshima Carp team, Kenso Zenimura, Fibber Hirayama (Poston block 227-2-A) and Ben Mitsuyoshi threw out the first pitches to Yonsei (4th generation), Travis Ishikawa. The Grizzlies wore jerseys modeled after the old 1927 Fresno Athletic Club Nisei design, which were auctioned off post-game to benefit the Nisei Baseball Research Project and the Japan Quake Relief.
During the 7th inning stretch, professional musician and Fresno City College music instructor, Larry Honda played ‘God Bless America’ on the alto saxophone.
Following the game, the award winning film, ‘American Pastime,’ a story of Japanese-American life and baseball during World War II was shown on the Chukchansi Park jumbotron.