From Honolulu to Brooklyn: Running the American Empire’s Base Paths with Buck Lai and the Travelers from Hawai’i
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From 1912 to 1916, a group of baseball players from Hawaiʻ i barnstormed the U.S. mainland. While initially all Chinese, the Travelers became more multiethnic and multiracial with ballplayers possessing Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, and European ancestries. As a group and as individuals the Travelers' experiences represent a still much too marginalized facet of baseball and sport history. Arguably, they traveled more miles and played in more ball parks in the American empire than any other group of ballplayers of their time. Outside of the major leagues, they were likely the most famous nine of the 1910s, dominating their college opponents and more than holding their own against top-flight white and black independent teams. And once the Travelers’ journeys were done, a team leader and star Buck Lai gained fame in independent baseball on the East Coast of the U.S., while former teammates ran base paths and ran for political office as they confronted racism and colonialism in Hawaiʻ i.
Rutgers University Press