On November 13, 1951, Lefty O’Doul’s team of American All-Stars lost, 3-1, to a Japanese Pacific League All-Star squad. It was the first time an American professional team lost to a Japanese professional team.
O’Doul is well known for his work in Japan, training Japanese players in the skills of the game and fostering communication and interaction between those in Japanese and American baseball both before and after World War II. For his efforts, Lefty O’Doul was the first American elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
4 thoughts on “This day in baseball: O’Doul falls to Japanese All-Stars”
It’s remarkable that the Japanese remained so open to American baseball players after the bombings during WW two though i read somewhere, maybe in one of the Robert whiting books, that the Japanese aren’t too thrilled when americans go over there and break home run records.
Oh man, quite remarkable. Maybe that’s the power of baseball? I don’t blame them on the HR records, though. Americans have a biological size advantage (not criticism, just reality), so it’s almost “unfair” in a way.
Is Lefty O’ Doul’s restaurant still open in San Francisco? It was the last time I was there, but that was a decade-plus ago.
Hm… it’s not looking promising. According to this report, they filed for bankruptcy a couple years ago: https://sfist.com/2020/10/27/lefty-odouls-files-for-bankruptcy-amid-owners-legal-troubles/
And according to Google Maps, they are permanently closed: https://goo.gl/maps/J2inwLFNkNDKxYpQ9