Sadaharu Oh

Here's a snapshot from the life of Sadaharu Oh. It's 1957 and Oh is pitching in the final game of Japan's all-important Koshien high-school championship. Blood drips from the 17-year-old's hand as he grips the baseball. Blisters have developed from weeks of relentless practice, until Oh can barely hold the ball without pain. He plays anyway and wins — to the wonder not merely of 60,000 spectators, but a whole nation listening on the radio. Later that summer, Oh's team is selected to represent Tokyo in the National Athletic Games. Oh is not allowed to join them. As the son of...

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