Tsuneo "Cappy" Harada was born in 1921 and is a native of Santa Maria, California. A lifelong athlete, he competed in high school and semi-pro baseball, ultimately scouting for the San Francisco Giants. While still in high school, he played in exhibition games against future Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Bob Lemon and Jackie Robinson
Harada says the St. Louis Cardinals were scouting him before World War II broke out. Harada joined the military intelligence service and was shipped out to help the United States in the Pacific Theater campaigns. Wounded twice, he continued with the U.S. military for 10 years during the Occupation of Japan.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Harada arranged baseball goodwill tours in Japan. On one, Lefty O'Doul and the San Francisco Seals played a series in Japan. In 1951 and '53, the Joe DiMaggio all-stars and the New York Giants also brought Major League Baseball stars to Japanese ballparks. A highlight of Harada's time spent in Japan was hosting DiMaggio and his wife actress Marilyn Monroe, on their honeymoon to Japan in January 1954. Harada says the Yankee Clipper even squeezed in some clinics for Japanese baseball players.
From 1951-54, Harada managed the Tokyo Giants of the Japanese Baseball League. Under Harada, the Giants took four straight JBL championships. He also pioneered a two-league format and adopting a World Series style playoffs in Japan.
In 1965, Harada was named general manager of the Lodi (Calif.) Crushers, now called the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, in California League Class A (affiliate of the San Diego padres). The team was a Minor League affiliate with the Chicago Cubs (1966-68, and Harada was the first Nisei (second generation Japanese American)to be a General manager in the Minors. In 1966, he was named executive of the year.
For 23 years, Harada worked for the San Francisco Giants as a special assistant in the scouting and player personnel department. Harada worked with player development, basic business operations and Trans Pacific scouting. Harada is credited with signing the first Japanese player to a Major league contract, left-hander Masanori Murakami. He was acquired by the Giants from Japan's Nankai Hawks in 1964. Murakami played two seasons, and had a career record of 5-1.
In 1979, living in the state of Washington, Harada was appointed state athletic commissioner. He continues to support baseball today.
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