There are many who have tried to bridge the gap between Major League Baseball in North America and the game as it is played in Japan, but perhaps no one has done more for MLB-NPB relations than Tsuneo "Cappy" Harada. He died on June 5 at the age of 88 in California, and his death from heart failure was reported on June 25.

Harada was born in Santa Maria, Calif., in 1921. He was a high school and semi-pro ballplayer supposedly scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the outbreak of World War II but, like many Japanese-Americans, he was caught in no man's land after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and wound up in the U.S. military intelligence service working in the Pacific.

Harada's contributions in building the "baseball bridge across the Pacific" are extremely noteworthy. He is credited with advising Japanese baseball officials as they set up the two-league system in 1950 and suggesting the Japan Series between the winners of the two league pennants be staged as the local version of MLB's World Series.