Last member of Vancouver Asahi baseball team that fought racism helps unveil new stamp

The stamp displays 11 Asahi players from the 1940 team

A new Canada Post stamp, shown in a handout, honours an amateur Japanese-Canadian baseball team that used sport to battle racism and discrimination.The Vancouver Asahi formed in 1914 and thrilled fans in the city until 1941 when it was disbanded during the Second World War as Canada interned more than 20,000 people, most of them Canadians of Japanese descent. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canada Post)

A new Canada Post stamp honours an amateur Japanese-Canadian baseball team that used sport to battle racism and discrimination.

The Vancouver Asahi formed in 1914 and thrilled fans in the city until 1941 when it was disbanded during the Second World War as Canada interned more than 20,000 people, most of them Canadians of Japanese descent.

READ MORE: Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

Canada Post says the stamp recognizes more than the well-known story of the Asahi players, who used a strategy they dubbed “brain ball” to beat bigger, more powerful teams by relying on bunts, base stealing and squeeze plays.

The stamp also honours the Asahi commitment to honourable, fair play to oppose overt racism and fear that was common in Canada during the first half of the 20th century and resulted in the forced internment of Japanese-Canadians.

Kaye Kaminishi — a third baseman and, at 97, the last surviving member of the Vancouver Asahi — helped unveil the stamp Wednesday night at a ceremony in Burnaby, B.C.

The stamp displays 11 Asahi players from the 1940 team, including Kaminishi, who appears in the back row, second from left.

Carla Qualtrough, minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, who is responsible for Canada Post, attended the unveiling and says Canada’s internment policy during the Second World War remains one of the most tragic events in Canadian history.

“This stamp reflects the Asahi’s determination to overcome racism and discrimination through the power of sport,” Qualtrough says in a statement. ”Asahi players exhibited integrity, honour and fair play and were shining examples of what it means to be truly Canadian.”

Actor George Takei, known for his role as Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek,” took time off from a local movie shoot to attend the unveiling at Burnaby’s Nikkei centre, a complex celebrating Japanese-Canadian history and culture.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

2019 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair Round-Up

Looking back on the community events, rodeo and country fair that took place over May long weekend

B.C. government grants $250K to help robotics students

Two high schools in North Surrey among schools benefiting from grant to First Robotics BC

Mother of accused charged in connection to Surrey teen’s murder

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Bhavkiran Dhesi

‘It’s a game changer’: 15-year-old wins professional skateboarding contest on two skateboards

‘No one has ever seen it before’ said producer of Cloverdale contest

UPDATE: No one hurt in fire at Surrey care facility

It happened at the Czorny Alzheimer Centre, in the 16800-block of 66th Avenue

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

On-duty Vancouver cop facing dangerous driving charges after cyclist hit

The woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

5 to start your day

Corgis put on a show at the Cloverdale Rodeo, family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras remembers him and more

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Most Read