Wayne Graczyk’s Japan Pro Ball Media Guide
Those of you out there who follow Japanese baseball in English have probably heard the name Wayne Graczyk. And if you’ve heard his name, you’ve probably also heard about his tragic passing last Tuesday night / Wednesday morning. Here are a few interesting articles written as reactions to his death. (Japan Times Announcement / Blogger (includes many Tweet embeds) / Reflection by Jason Coskrey) Though I never met Wayne, I was able to correspond with him via e-mail, and he was always kind and encouraging to me. Based on all I have heard about Wayne, he was surely an incredible man who made following baseball in Japan a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. He will be sorely missed.
One of Wayne’s greatest accomplishments is the Japan Pro Baseball Fan Book and Media Guide, which he put together almost all by himself! It is a high quality book with a plethora of information. The past two years I have been blessed with a copy. Last year’s included Wayne’s signature, along with Marty Kuehnert’s and my buddy Mark’s – all of whom have helped me along as a writer, blogger and follower of Japanese baseball.
This is the ultimate guide for NPB fans who want to know more about the sport but cannot read enough Japanese to get the information from other sources. Even if you can read Japanese (and I can), this book is one of the most comprehensive guides I have ever seen. Here’s an excerpt from the first page of the book:
Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide is the complete and only English-language guide to Japanese baseball. Now in its 42nd year of publication. The book includes essential information such as 2017 league and team directories, schedules, team rosters, player photos, stadium diagrams, 2016 season statistics, foreign player profiles and much more. (Click on the book title or the picture on the right for ordering information.)
All this for just $21.90 including taxes and shipping (anywhere in the world!). And as you can see below, the 4 pages on the Hanshin Tigers pretty much cover all the essential team information on my website. If you go to the back of the book, he has a list of every MVP, HR champ, batting average leader, top winners and ERA pitchers, in the 67-year history of the game! Also, there’s an alphabetical listing of every foreigner to ever play in NPB, plus the order in which he joined! (The first ever was Wally Yonamine of the Giants, and the first Tiger – 48th ever – was Mike Solomko. Incidentally, he was the first caucasian ever in the Central League.)
Not to pull on any heartstrings, but this might be the last ever edition of the guide. At the very least, it is the final one ever to be put together with love and meticulousness by the late Wayne Graczyk. So order yours while they are still available! Rest in Peace, Wayne.