New Oakland A’s coach Don Wakamatsu is highly regarded and may become the first Asian American manager in Major League Baseball.
Wakamatsu is a former catcher who played briefly in the Big Leagues. His father is Japanese and his grandparents were interned during World War II.
The A’s also have Hawaii-born Kurt Suzuki slated to be their starting catcher this season.
As a big baseball fan, I think it’s great seeing more Asian Americans in the majors. I’ve often wondered why more Asian Americans haven’t made it to the Big Leagues. The generalization would be that Asians don’t have the physical attributes. Certainly you have to be physically gifted for baseball but it’s not like basketball, where being tall helps, or football where size does matter.
And if it’s that Asian Americans aren’t big and strong enough to play, how does that explain the players coming over from Asia and making it in baseball? The imports are the best of the best from their countries, but where are the best Asian American players? (And don’t say they’re playing ping pong!)
This post can also be found at Hyphen magazine’s blog.