Anyway, the first game I saw was between the Long Beach Armada vs. the Samurai Bears’. Now, my first thought was, "who are the Samurai Bears?" I would soon find out that they where a traveling group of all Japanese Baseball players. How cool is that? Furthermore, they were coached by former major leaguer Warren Cromartie.
So, this morning I got an email from the GBL highlighting a documentary that was filmed about the Samurai Bears. They played in 90 games over a 96 day period and went through the trials and tribulations you would expect a team to go through during a season that busy.
From the email:
The film, starring Samurai Bears’ team manager and ex-major leaguer Warren Cromartie, chronicles the on and off field exploits of the Samurai Bears as they compete in the 2005 Golden Baseball League season as the first ever all-Japanese team to participate as a regular member of a U.S. professional sports league. The Samurai Bears competed as a traveling team playing 90 games on the road in 96 days across California and Arizona. Cromartie, a legend in his playing days for Japan’s Yomiuri Giants, now is in a reversed role as he skippers 25 Japanese players competing in a professional baseball league in a foreign land.The film will have its premier this weekend during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday, February 3rd at 7:30PM.
Narrated by Cromartie and GBL President Amit Patel, the film chronicles early difficulties by the team on the field, language and cultural miscommunications, a prima donna slugger, and a translator struggling with the pressure – all set against a classic minor league baseball backdrop of small towns, long bus rides, and hero-worshipping groupies. The Samurai Bears eventually find a groove on the field and end up chasing the record for the most single-season wins by a minor league traveling team. Along the way, the team also learns about America, masters new and colorful baseball vernacular in several languages, and shows a depth of dedication, passion and joy for the game that makes it very obvious that this is not just America’s national pastime.
If you have a chance go and check it out- and let me know how it is. I won't have a opportunity to go out there so I'll probably have to wait for NetFlix. Santa Barbara is a long drive for me.
SB Film Festival Link: