Taking in a Game


Taking in a Game

A History of Baseball in Asia

Joseph A. Reaves

Jerry Malloy Prize Series

220 pages
Illus., map


May 2004


$16.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In Taking in a Game, Joseph A. Reaves examines the development of baseball in Korea, the Philippines, Mainland China, and Taiwan, as well as the more widely known story of baseball in Japan. In this entertaining and informed account, Reaves covers everything from baseball in Qing Dynasty China in the nineteenth century to the 2000 Sydney Olympics bronze-medal match between Japan and Korea. Reaves guides the reader through a history of Asian baseball, the cultures that surround it, and the future of what has become a great Asian game.

Author Bio

Joseph A. Reaves is a former journalist who covered Asia for the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, and UPI. He is the author of Warsaw to Wrigley: A Foreign Correspondent’s Tale of Coming Home from Communism to the Cubs.


"Joseph Reaves's Taking in a Game: A History of Baseball in Asia expands our knowledge of Asian baseball beyond Japan, about which much has been written, to countries such as Korea, China, Taiwan and the Philippines. Reaves, an American journalist who has reported from Asia for many years, discovers baseball being played in many unlikely places, such as in the Communist stronghold of Yenan during the Sino-Japanese War of the 1930s."—Sacramento Bee

"Joseph A. Reaves explores an aspect of the sport that is literally foreign to most fans. This book expands its scope well beyond the dominating influence of Japan to include the reach of baseball in Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and even China. . . . This study explaining the differences between Far Eastern ball and our own game arrives at an auspicious moment when more Pacific Rim players than ever are impacting the way baseball is played in the USA."—USA Today Baseball Weekly

"American soldiers were baseball's Johnny Appleseeds, but Reaves shows that the Japanese tended the orchard of the game in Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan. . . . Reaves makes the case that before World War II, baseball for the Japanese was often about competing with the United States. After the war, the game helped bring the two countries together."—The Washington Post

"This book presents a brief but somewhat encyclopedic examination of baseball in Asia, with a particular focus on China, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan. One riveting tales involves right-hander Eiju Sawamura, who pitched against Babe Ruth and a visiting American all-stars in Japan in 1934."—Library Journal

"An important, groundbreaking work of research. Highly readable, yet thoroughly documented. No one else has put together this much information on baseball in Asia in one volume. It will be the sourcebook on the subject for years to come. Hats off to author Reaves for a much needed, unique contribution to the literature of the game."—Robert Whiting, author of You Gotta Have Wa

"This book will be the definitive book on Asian baseball and how Japan has taken America's game and made it their own. . . . This is a rare book—one that is interesting, readable and also breaks a lot of new ground and enlightens a whole new audience to a game that we know and love yet is totally foreign to us."—Jonathan Leshanksi, Athomeplate.com

Taking in a Game is an essential history that provides context as the so-called ‘American game’ continues to evolve into a worldwide phenomenon.”—Michael Wilt, Korean Quarterly

"A former Chicago Tribune sports writer, Reaves transformed his thesis project at the University of Hong Kong into this award-winning commentary. . . . Reaves's well-referenced treatment of the game is highly recommended for students majoring in sports studies or the history of sport, and for readers who just have a passion for the game."—Choice


2003 Seymour Medal, sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research, finalist
2002 Sporting News - SABR Baseball Research Award, sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research, winner
2001 Jerry Malloy Award, sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research, winner

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