The day after the Brooklyn Dodgers lost game 7 of the 1956 World Series, Most of the Ddogers and I (Fred Kipp) went to Japan to play 20 games in 19 cities.  From Sapporo to Kyushu, we criss-crossed the island and played all-star teams and professional teams.  I pitched more innings than any other Dodger on the tour and threw two shutouts.

One reason that I played so much was that I was a knuckle ball pitcher and the Japanese didn’t know that pitch.  Here’s how the newspapers of the time reported it:

Third sacker Atsushi Hadoka shook his head and said, “Kipp is a hard pitcher to get to. I couldn’t hit any of his inside balls. They cut the corners sharp. They were puzzlers and I still don’t know if they were a knuckleball or a palm ball.”

Japanese players are calling Kipp a “knuckleball artist.” Kipp admits he threw at least two dozen knuckleballs in the Sendai game.

For a great overview of the Japan tour, Walter O’Malley’s site has some great stories and pictures.  He has a good selection of pictures from the tour here.

In my book The Last Yankee Dodger, I could only put a few pictures in the book.  Here are some great pictures that didn’t make the book.