Wally Yonamine died on Monday at the age of 85. Yonamine was the first American to play baseball in Japan after WWII, in 1951. Oh, and before that, he was the first Asian American to play in the NFL, for the 49ers in 1947. Wow.
The obituaries are referring to Yonamine as "the Nisei Jackie Robinson," but "the Nisei Bo Jackson" works as well. Hats off to this real trailblazer.
- Wally Yonamine, Nisei baseball and football pioneer, dead at 85 (Rafu Shimpo)
- Wally Yonamine (Baseball Reference)
- 61. Wally Yonamine: Japan's Jackie Robinson (The Infinite Baseball Card Set)
- Wally Yonamine (official site)
(Thanks to @ChadMoriyama for the news.)
photo by Mikey Hirano Culross/Rafu Shimpo