News


2017-04-23

Baseball community, friends reflect on Graczyk’s life
The Japan Times, Apr 21, 2017 by Jason Coskrey



Columnist Wayne Graczyk (left), seen with Marty Kuehnert, also worked as a broadcaster during his 40-plus years in Japan. | COURTESY OF MARTY KUEHNERT
Wayne Graczyk, who in his 40-plus years in Japan became a cornerstone of the English-language coverage of Japanese baseball, passed away at the age of 68 overnight Tuesday in Kumamoto. He leaves behind his family, wife Yoshiko and children Randall and Gayle, and an extended network of friends, colleagues and those who knew him through his column, the Baseball Bullet-in“Wayne Graczyk was one of the most positive people I’ve ever met,” his longtime friend and former Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles general manager Marty Kuehnert said ThursdayHaving been in Japan since arriving with the U.S. Air Force in 1969, Wayne saw many of the greats, such as Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh, playHis knowledge, and of course the Japan Pro Baseball Fan Handbook & Media Guide he produced each offseason, made him a favorite of visiting MLB scouts. He endeared himself to NPB’s foreign players through his job with Nippon Television, for whom he interviewed the players before Giants games at Tokyo Dome, and relayed what they said to the night’s TV and radio announcersOn Aug. 1, 2016, former Yomiuri Giants and Montreal Expos star Warren Cromartie, unprompted, spent part of his speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan telling Wayne how much he appreciated himIf the outpouring of condolences on social media was any indication, Kuehnert is far from alone in his feelings. Wayne was there for his friends and asked for nothing in return(Read the full story on The Japan Times)rn