Sadly, the Baseball Bullet-in says goodbye to a good friend and great fan of the game, Takashi “Bert” Shimada, aka “Mr. Minor League,” who died in Tokyo on June 19 at the age of 87. Though he followed baseball at all levels in his own country as well as the U.S., he preferred American minor league baseball over the major leagues and pro ball in Japan.

Shimada visited North America on his own personal baseball tours on so many occasions, he was able to see games in more than 200 minor league and independent league ballparks in the U.S. and Canada. He wrote a book about his experiences titled, “American Baseball — The Adventures of a Japanese Fan in the Minor Leagues,” and he had many interesting stories to tell.

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