Tag Archives: Robert Whiting

Robert Whiting Live chat

On Monday, February 15, non-fiction author Robert Whiting joined in for a live chat with website subscribers, during which we learned that his memoirs “Tokyo Junkie” can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Also joining in as a surprise participant was former Lotte Orion, Taiyo Whales, and Yakult Swallows star Leon Lee, who talks about his times in Japan as a player, manager of the Orix BlueWave, and as Pacific Rim scout for the Chicago Cubs.

Want to hear how Lee got a raise by practicing less? Listen in. There may be a one-hour limit to zoom video’s

All free and paid subscribers are eligible to participate. My thanks to all who joined.

Live chat with Robert Whiting and Leon Lee

I’ve posted the videos and some other stuff that came out in the chat, broken down by topic.

San Diego homecoming

Bobby Scales Jim 2019
Former Nippon Ham Fighter Bobby Scales and Jim at the 2019 winter meetings in San Diego

I’m just wrapping up my seventh visit to San Diego, and my fourth trip centered on baseball, the first two World Baseball Classics, and then two winter meetings.

San Diego 2014 was the first of my six winter meetings and was instrumental in my starting this website and getting back to writing online at the urging of Rob Neyer and John Thorn. I’d had another webpage, but that was the genesis of this site.

This trip proved how good that advice was. I caught a huge wave in November 2018, when Shohei Ohtani returned to Japan for his first press conference here after his rookie season, I translated the whole presser and the response was huge. With that, I upgraded the website again.

Those changes and more regular posts have seen an increasing number of people in and out of baseball reach out in order to connect about Japanese baseball. This past week was a real high point as a number of people I barely knew sought me out to broaden their connections — and in doing so broaden mine. After writing essentially for myself for nearly 25 years, this was an eye-opener.

I also want to throw out a big thank you to a man who facilitated much of my growth, Ira Stevens of Asian scouting website Scout Dragon. Twenty-four years ago, Ira helped me with the third edition of my self-published Jim Allen’s Guide to Japanese Baseball. He pushed me to be more outgoing, introducing me to the don of English language writing about Japanese baseball, Bob Whiting. Ira’s been a trusted friend and great booster.

Another who deserves credit is my best friend John E. Gibson, my former Daily Yomiuri coworker, who pushed me and pushed me until I went in with him on his project to begin the Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast. I had zero interest to start with, but his energy and love have made the podcast what it has become long before I ever realized how much it meant to me.

Those efforts have led other influential and experienced people championing my often very ordinary work.

I am gratified that people reach out to me because I believe that leap to connect that makes us all better, more knowledgable and more positive about a game that is designed to make you fail.

To all of you, thank you, thank you, thank you.