BRUCE WEBER “Wally Yonamine, 85, Dies; Changed Japanese Baseball” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/sports/baseball/05yonamine.html
Wally Yonamine, who was the first American to play professional baseball in Japan after World War II, has often been compared to Jackie Robinson for “integrating” the Japanese game.
When he made his debut for the Yomiuri Giants*1 in 1951, Yonamine was reviled by fans and players alike, who resented his otherness, just as Robinson had been vilified four years earlier when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. At a time when anti-American sentiment was rife in Japan — memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still fresh — Yonamine endured catcalls and worse. Rocks and bottles were hurled at him from the stands. The Hawaiian-born son of Japanese parents, he was not only the enemy, he was a traitor.
And like Robinson, Yonamine overcame the prejudice and became a beloved star player in Japan, a three-time batting champion. His biographer, Robert K. Fitts, saw him as even more, titling his 2008 book about him “Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball.”