baseball

Dennis Slocumb of the International Union of Police Associations reacts to the firing of BR Police Officer Blane Salamoni, who fired six shots that took the life of Alton Sterling. Baseball Legend Denny McLain on the 50th anniversary of his 31-6 season and the first week of Major League action. Author Kim Brophey on the importance of dogs in the lives of Americans.

In the fall of 1936, a 24-year-old black baseball player from rural Louisiana stepped off a boat in Tokyo. His name was James Bonner. An ace pitcher with a vicious submarine pitch, Bonner, according to Japanese newspapers breathlessly heralding his arrival, once threw 22 strikeouts in a single game back in the States.

There's this strange story about my family that doesn't often come up in casual conversation. We don't talk about it much. I had to prod them when I donned my headphones and stuck a microphone in their faces to do this story. But as soon as we share, people shout, "Why didn't you tell me about that before?"

Here it is: My great-great-great-uncle introduced baseball to Japan.

Baseball season is over in the United States, but it's just getting started in Cuba. It's the first season since Communist authorities lifted a 50-year-old ban on players' signing professional contracts abroad.

The move could bring even more Cuban defections to the U.S. major leagues, but fans on the island aren't booing the change.

Going to a baseball game at Havana's Latin American stadium is a little different from the typical experience in the U.S.

Tyler Saladino is one of thousands of minor league baseball players hoping to make it to the major leagues. He plays in Alabama for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Last year, NPR profiled Saladino. But since then, maybe things have changed for the 23-year-old infielder.