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JACL: Play Ball – The Japanese American Experience and the National Pastime

May 7, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the JACL brought together a panel of speakers who unraveled the rich history of baseball and considered its significance for those who were wrongfully incarcerated during WWII. The extraordinary lessons that resulted from that time were examined in order to understand how diversity within the sport can be better fostered today. Speakers, ranging from historians to advocates, highlighted the contributions of Japanese-American players and celebrated the mark that they left on the American Pastime.

Key Note Speaker: Saki Mori, VP of 1000 Club, Membership and Services for JACL National, and Interim President of the JACL-New York Chapter

Moderator: Bill Staples Jr., award-winning baseball historian, author, and civil rights activist

Panelist 1:Kerry Yo Nakagawa, author, filmmaker, historian, and director of Nisei Baseball Research Project

Panelist 2: Brandon Zenimura, educator, coach, and great-grandson of Kenichi Zenimura

Panelist 3: Don Wakamatsu, former professional baseball player, scout, coach, and manager

To learn more about our featured speakers, and receive a special offer from artist Chris Felix, click here: https://bit.ly/3wdOZ3m

A huge thank you to our participants and partners for making this possible! To support our partners, please click the following links:

  • JACL (the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization): https://jacl.org/
  • Nisei Baseball Research Project (non-profit 501 organization documenting, preserving, and exhibiting the history of Japanese American baseball): www.niseibaseball.com
  • WakWay Foundation (the WakWay Foundation focuses on inner-city and rural job creation for this generation): https://www.wakway.org/
  • International Pastime (Bill Staples Jr.’s blog): http://billstaples.blogspot.com/
  • Chris Felix Art (home to the most iconic vintage and current baseball art in the Midwest): http://www.chrisfelixfineart.com/


May 7, 2022
11:00 am - 12:30 pm