Herb Hunter led another full-scale tour to Japan in 1931 together with sportswriter Fred Lieb, bringing with them such top stars as Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Rabbit Maranville, Al Simmons and George Kelly, along with seven other major leaguers.
1931 Tour of Japan
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The photo above is entitled "National and American Baseball Stars Japan Tour, Kobe, November 22nd 1931" in white lettering at the bottom of the photo and has a photographer's stamp at bottom left from the "Hinode Studio, Sannomiya." The picture depicts almost all the U.S. players, with most in their uniforms and team jackets at the entrance to the Oriental Hotel which was the same hotel at which the Herb Hunter All-Stars stayed during their 1922-23 visit to Kobe.
Below is a close-up scan of the photo, with the players identified by last name. Included in this team image are Lou Gehrig, Rabbit Maranville, Mickey Cochrane, Al Simmons, George Kelly, Muddy Ruel, Herb Hunter, Willie Kamm, Lefty O'Doul, Billy Cunningham, Tom Oliver, Ralph Shinners, Larry French, umpire John "Beans" Reardon, team trainer Dr. Leonard Knowles and sportswriter Fred Lieb.
These two postcard-sized baseball bromides were likely part of the series issued by Yuasa and Co. of all the American players. The card at left is of Lefty O'Doul, while the one at right shows George Kelly. Some of the cards had a white facsimile autograph and this Kelly card appears to have had that traced over in black.
These three photos of George "Highpockets" Helly originate from his estate, showing him in uniform. As can be seen below, two of the three have Japanese stamps on the reverse and all three also feature the Kelly estate stamp, as well.
Six of the players are seen here in uniform along with trainer Knowles. O'Doul, Cochrane, Gehrig and Kamm appear to be included, as is Lefty Grove who has his hand raised in front of his face. To see an enlarged close-up image of the players, click here.
The photo above captures the all-star team on ship in a celebratory mood with their wives. The image below has identifications overlaid atop the photo, with the players identified by last name. Included in this image are Rabbit Maranville, Frankie Frisch, Lefty Grove, Mickey Cochrane, Al Simmons, Lefty O'Doul and others. The shortest player, Maranville, is standing tall atop a bench or deck storage unit, hat aloft.
Team members can be seen here taking in the sights with their Japanese hosts. Some identifications can be seen below, including Rabbit Maranville and Willie Kamm.
Back Row (L-R): French, Cochrane, O'Doul, Lieb, Grove, Hunter, Cunningham, Oliver, Kelly, Gehrig.
Front Row: Kamm, Maranville, Frisch, Ruel, Simmons, Shinners, Knowles
With ribbons pinned to their suits, several of the all stars are seen here likely at their hotel. From left to right: O'Doul, Gehrig, Kamm, Maranville, Cunningham, Hunter, Kelly, Grove, Frisch and Cochrane.