About Rob Fitts



Vintage Japanese Baseball Cards

Banzai Babe Ruth

Wally Yonamine

Remembering Japanese Baseball







Masanori Murakami

Join Masanori Murakami, author Rob Fitts and filmmaker Yuriko Romer for a discussion of Japanese Baseball

2015 Tour Schedule

June 26, 2015 Chicago

July 4, 2015 Cooperstown, NY

July 7, 2015 Los Angeles

July 9, San Francisco Public Library

July 11, San Jose Public Library


  • October 24, 2013

Japanese edition of Banzai Babe Ruth Released

  • February 6, 2012

Banzai Babe Ruth wins SABR's Seymour Award for Best Baseball Book of 2012

  • February 1, 2012

Banzai now available in paperback on Amazon

  • November 12, 2012

Banzai named as a Finalist for the 2012 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year

  • June 30, 2012

"Murderers, Spies, and Ballplayers: The Untold Story of the 1934 All American Tour of Asia."  Wins the 2012 Doug Pappas Award for the best oral research presentation at SABR 42

  • May 15, 2012

Banzai wins a silver medal at the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards

  • May 8, 2012

Feature article in Mainichi

  • April 13, 2012

Wall Street Journal Review for Banzai

  • April 2, 2012

Banzai mentioned in NY Times article on Univ. Nebraska Press

  • March 17, 2012

Podcast Interview on NPR's Only A Game


  • Interviews

NPR's Only A Game

Baseball Ph.D

Babe Ruth Central

Sports Radio 1250 Milwaukee

With Bruce Berglund

Sports Talk

High Heat Stats


  • Presentations

 "Murderers, Spies, and Ballplayers: The Untold Story of the 1934 All American Tour of Asia." at SABR 42


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The Unfulfilled Baseball Dreams of Masanori Murakami, the First Japanese Major Leaguer

University of Nebraska Press

Now Available

Meet Mashi in July 2015

(details here)


"Rob Fitts has fabulously transported us back to Mashi’s family roots, childhood passion for the grand game and his trajectory to become the first major leaguer from Japan. It is a discovery and rediscovery of culture, baseball dynamics/politics and the man who transcended the sport as a gigantic touchstone ‘Pioneer’ for future players from Asia."

Kerry Yo Nakagawa ( author, filmmaker, historian )

"Mashi Murakami's impact can still be felt in baseball stadiums on both sides of the Pacific. He is a pioneer in every sense of the word.....a true Ambassador for the game of baseball."

Allan H. "Bud" Selig (Commissioner of Major League Baseball)





Banzai Babe Ruth 

Winner of SABR's 2013 Seymour Medal for Best Baseball Book of 2012

Finalist for the 2012 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year

2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medalist

University of Nebraska Press

Personalized Copies of

Banzai Babe Ruth Available



Banzai Babe Ruth is the story of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan though the tour of Major League all stars in 1934 and the efforts of fanatical ultranationalists to drive the nations apart.  The story contains international diplomacy, espionage, attempted murder and, of course, baseball.

"Banzai Babe Ruth reads like a multi-stranded mystery novel. Fitts has an eye for the quirky details that make historical writing vivid."
Michael R. Stevens, Books & Culture

"Wonderfully researched and brought to life in lively prose."
Publisher's Weekly

"A fascinating story of international intrigue. ... This is a well-researched, fascinatingly told tale of two super powers whose shared passion for baseball wasn't enough to maintain the peace, though it did help to restore it in the years following World War II."
James Bailey , Baseball America

Learn more about Banzai Babe Ruth




Autographed & Personalized Copies through Oblong Books

Amazon.com (hardback)

Amazon (paperback)

Barnes & Noble.com


Wally Yonamine:

The Man who Changed Japanese Baseball

University of Nebraska 2008

"Fitts creates a book in which the life of Wally Yonamine almost jumps off the page.  Expertly researched and crafted book. This is a must-read and a must-add to the bookshelf for those with an interest in the history of Japanese baseball, and a worthwhile read for any baseball fan looking to broaden their knowledge of this great game that has spread around the globe." -BaseballBookReview.com

"The way that Fitts brings history alive in this book is gripping ... [It] makes you feel as though you were there in the stands." - JapaneseBaseball.com

Learn more at  Wally Yonamine





Autographed & Personalized Copies from Rob on Amazon

Amazon.com (hardback)

Amazon (paperback)

Barnes & Noble.com


Remembering Japanese Baseball:

An Oral History of the Game

Southern Illinois University Press, 2005

 Winner 2005 Society of American Baseball Research & The Sporting News Award for Best Baseball Research

Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game is the first oral history of baseball in Japan published in English. Written in the style of Glory of Their Times, Remembering Japanese Baseball features the narratives of 25 men who played in Japan from 1948 to 1996. Through their stories, readers will understand the history of Japanese ball and see how the game changed over time.

Learn more about Remembering Japanese Baseball





Autographed & Personalized Copies from Rob on Amazon


Barnes & Noble.com