Diamonds in the Rough: The Legacy of Japanese American Baseball
Hosted and Narrated by Pat Morita
During World War II, 120,000 Japanese Americans--including this program’s host and narrator, Oscar-nominated actor Noriyuki “Pat” Morita (The Karate Kid)--were relocated to remote internment camps, such as the one in Gila River, Arizona, for the duration of the war. Behind the barbed wire, baseball helped many of internees survive this humiliating ordeal. One man, despite his small size, became a very big hero. His name was Kenichi Zenimura. Today, he is commonly referred to as “The Father of Japanese American Baseball.”
This poignant documentary pays tribute to Zeni. However, it is much more than the biography of one man. It is the story of a legacy in which baseball helped transcend bigotry and hatred to bring pride and respect to Japanese Americans who loved the game. Covering over 100 years of history, it is filled with great baseball memories, including wonderful anecdotes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.