Transpacific Field of Dreams: Baseball's impact on globalization and diplomacy
Phi Beta Delta's International Forum welcomes Michigan State University history professor Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu to discuss United States foreign policy from a unique perspective — baseball. Her presentation, "Transpacific Field of Dreams," shines a light on globalization by exploring the history of baseball in Japan from its introduction by American businessmen more than 100 years ago to today’s World Baseball Classic.
Guthrie-Shimizu will show how baseball carried American values to Japan and how, by the mid-twentieth century, the sport had become emblematic of Japan's modernization and America's growing influence in the Pacific world. Guthrie-Shimizu contends that baseball provides unique insight into U.S. - Japanese relations during times of war and peace and, in fact, is central to understanding postwar reconciliation. In telling this often surprising history, she shines a light on globalization's unlikely, and at times accidental, participants.
Sayuri Guthrie-Shimizu is author of Transpacific Field of Dreams (University of North Carolina Press, 2012) and Creating People of Plenty: The United States and Japan’s Economic Alternatives, 1950-1960 (Kent State University Press, 2001). Guthrie-Shimizu was honored by Major League Baseball when Transpacific Field of Dreams was introduced at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s March 2012 season openers in Tokyo.