Warren Cromartie, formerly of the Yomiuri Giants in NPB and the Montreal Expos and Kansas City Royals in MLB, pointed at Masanori Murakami and called him "a hero."

Murakami, who was standing nearby, was Japan's first-ever major leaguer, a pitcher who at the age of 20, left his native land to go play for the San Francisco Giants. Cromartie lauded Murakami's bravery, and said he had a small understanding of what Murakami went through because of his own experience playing in Japan.

Murakami is a living piece of baseball history. So it was fitting Murakami and Cromartie, who both played the game on either side of the Pacific Ocean, were on hand for the opening of an exhibition celebrating the shared history of baseball in Japan and the U.S.