“The University of Chicago baseball team, with Coach Harlan O. Page and Associate Professor Chester Whitney Wright, of the department of political economy, are on their way to Japan. The party is scheduled to sail on August 25 for the Hawaiian Islands, where a series of games will be played with the Oahu Baseball League, which is composed of Chinese, Portuguese, Hawaiian and United States Service teams.
“On September 10 the party will leave Honolulu on the Shinyo Maru, arriving in Nippon about September 21. From Yokohama the team will go to Tokyo, where the headquarters will be established for a month’s visit. The three international series of games to be played will be against the three universities, Waseda, Keio, and Meiji.”
– School and Society, Vol. II, No. 34, edited by J. McKeen Cattell, August 21, 1915
In 1909 the University of Wisconsin baseball team received an invitation to visit Japan as guests of Keio University and to play other teams. The invitation, largely through the efforts of a Wisconsin alumnus, Genkwan Shibata, came from Professor Matsuoka of Keio, who had taken his master’s degree in political science at Wisconsin in 1906. Keio University was reported to be especially eager to entertain the Americans ‘to dispel rumors of enmity between the U.S. and Japan.’ Not the be outdone, the University of Chicago team sailed for the Pacific in 1910 as the result of an invitation of two years’ standing from Waseda to play that university and Keio. The Chicago club was invited to return every fifth year until 1930!
The University of Chicago team returned to Japan for its second tour in 1915. American ambassador George W. Guthrie and the president of Waseda University were among the 20,000 who saw Chicago win its first game against Waseda 5-1. The Americans made a clean sweep of its second Japanese series, taking Waseda seven and Keio University three times.
“In a spirited game of baseball [on September 20] the much heralded Japanese team of Keio University were defeated by the University of Chicago team in their first international match with them. The final score, 4 to 1. Before an immense crowd of fans, including a few Japanese women standing, the game opened with keen rivalry, as the Keio crowd had planned to win.”
– Chicago Tribune, October 21, 1915
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