Sometimes historical analysis can’t compete with a good personal story, as Robert K. Fitts — a baseball expert and former archaeologist — proves with his newest book, “Mashi: The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer.”

Masanori Murakami is the first baseball player from Japan to play for a Major League team in the U.S. — his story takes place 30 years before pitcher Hideo Nomo burst onto the Major League baseball scene in May, 1995.

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