You are invited to celebrate the life of Wayne Graczyk, longtime columnist for The Japan Times and Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) member. Wayne passed away on April 19, 2017 while in Kumamoto to help Nippon Television cover a countryside game between the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
He was a fixture in the Japanese baseball and English-language sports communities for over three decades.
Graczyk, born on July 9, 1948, was a native of New Jersey and came to Japan as a member of the U.S. Air Force in 1969. He was stationed in Fukuoka, where he eventually met and married his wife, Yoshiko. He later moved to Tokyo, where he attended Sophia University, graduating in 1977.
He began writing his “Baseball Bullet-In” column for The Japan Times in 1976, after mailing the paper’s editors about mistakes in a game story he had read, and eventually ended up being hired to write a column.
He also served as the sports editor for the Tokyo Weekender for nearly 30 years. For the Nippon Television Network (NTV), Graczyk attended every Giants home game and interviewed the foreign players from both teams. He would then translate and report the information gleaned to that day’s Japanese radio and TV announcers roughly 30 minutes before the end of the visiting team’s batting practice.
Graczyk also contributed to Baseball America and other outlets during his long career in and around Japanese baseball. He called Giants games in English for NTV for several seasons and also served as a public address announcer for some NCAA college football games at Tokyo Dome.
He was best known to MLB scouts and teams for his Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide. The guide was first published in 1976 and each edition has contained full rosters and the previous year’s statistics for each team, some historical figures and other information.
Each season’s guide has become essential reading for MLB scouts in Japan who secure multiple copies for themselves and team executives back home.
The media guide, which Graczyk compiled himself every offseason, was also snapped up by foreign fans living in Japan, tourists, and online orders throughout the world.
You can learn more about the guide and purchase it:
Please let them know as soon as possible of your planned attendance.
Here is the web address of the FCCJ: http://www.fccj.or.jp
You are encouraged to circulate this information. The hope is to have large gathering to honor Wayne and his family.