The first Major League Baseball player from Japan was a 20-year-old pitcher by the name of Masanori Murakami. The lefty only played two seasons in the MLB, but his journey is the subject of the new book called “Mashi” by Robert Fitts. Murakami, Fitts and translator Yuriko Romer joined Only A Game’s Doug Tribou.
When Rio de Janeiro was awarded the Summer Olympics, Brazilians celebrated. Six years, an economic nosedive and a World Cup later, the country’s residents feel very differently. In her new book “Dancing with the Devil in the City of God,” Brazilian journalist Juliana Barbassa chronicles the change.
The Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” was more than a hit song, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter argues. It also changed the relationship between sports and the music industry. Fifteen years after the song’s release, Reiter joins Bill Littlefield to make his case.
Peter Milligan has run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, for the last 12 years. In his new book “Bulls Before Breakfast,” Milligan explains why he keeps going back year after year.
Pitcher Gregg Olson reached his first and only All-Star Game in 1990. And so did catcher Greg Olson. They haven’t spoken since. On the 25th anniversary of that game, Bill Littlefield got Greg and Gregg on the phone together to remember the coincidence — and to find out what happens to all those baseball cards that get mailed to the wrong Olson.
Our colleagues at NPR’s program Latino USA have produced an episode devoted to Latin America’s influence on the game of baseball. We present their story of how Latin American players blurred baseball’s color line before Jackie Robinson ended segregation in big leagues.
Calvin Coolidge is joining the Presidents Race, the mascot competition held during Washington Nationals home games. Coolidge was in office the last time a club from D.C. won the World Series. Even so, Ben Freed of the Washingtonian thinks a different Coolidge should be have gotten the call.
Mark Kram was a legendary sports writer for Sports Illustrated in the 1960s and ’70s. His exit from S.I. caused problems for his son Mark Kram, Jr., who had the name first and also became a sports writer. Kram, Jr. edited the new collection of his father’s work titled “Great Men Die Twice” and joins Bill Littlefield.
The Stanley Cup was donated by an Englishman to Canada back in 1892. But no Canadian team has brought home the Cup since 1993. Legendary NHL goalie and Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden joined Bill to discuss Canada’s hockey drought and the country’s other rivalries with the U.S.
Chances are, if you have watched a sporting event on television, you’ve heard Al Michaels’ voice. Michaels joins Bill Littlefield to discuss his career, his famous “Miracle on Ice” call, and his new memoir, “You Can’t Make This Up.”