Sport: Learning by Doing

Clever people, those Orientals. Consider baseboru. For nearly three decades after the professional game was introduced to Japan in 1936, the native teams politely and honorably lost to visiting U.S. clubs in a series of postseason exhibition games. All along, of course, the Japanese players were learning while losing. Just how much they learned became shockingly clear to the San Francisco Giants last year. When they went to Japan to take on such supposed pushovers as the Taiyo Whales, Nankai Hawks and Chunichi Dragons, the Giants were clobbered in six out of nine...

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