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MILWAUKEE'S WORLD SERIES
It was the eighth inning of the opening game of the series and the little left-hander looked toward the plate, wound up and threw. The big man at the plate swung hard, and the ball sailed off over the fence for a home run.
Whitey Ford of the Yankees pitching to Duke Snider of the Dodgers before 65,000 in Yankee Stadium? No, Sadao Kawai of the Kanebo All-Stars pitching to Jim Ryan of the Saskatoon Gems before 8,000 in Milwaukee's County Stadium. It was the first Global World Series of semipro baseball and to most of the eight competing teams every bit as important as any professional World Series in history.
Teams from Hawaii, Colombia, Spain, Puerto Rico, Japan, Canada and Mexico descended upon Milwaukee, the best baseball town in the world, to have fun, promote international good will and, almost incidentally, decide in a week-long double elimination tournament who has the best nonprofessional baseball team in the world. The baseball wasn't expected to be as good as that in New York and wasn't, but some of the sidelights turned out to be even better.
The Japanese were met at the airport by Japanese-American girls who later made up a special cheering section. The Hawaiians were greeted with hula dances and leis; in return they offered kisses, some of which accidentally strayed over to a pair of nice elderly ladies waiting to board another plane nearby. The Colombians, shivering in Milwaukee's chill 70� air (the temperature was over 90� when they left home), carried gifts of Colombian beer to present to beer-conscious Milwaukee but couldn't find out what to do with it when their interpreter became indisposed and had to be whisked off to bed.
After almost two days of parades, beauty contests, sightseeing tours, banquets and speeches by such high-ranking foreign dignitaries as the ambassadors of Colombia and Japan, the charg� d'affaires of Spain, a senator from Puerto Rico and famed Duke Kahanamoku, official greeter and sheriff of Honolulu, the teams finally got around to what they had come for—playing baseball.
At the end of a week, the tournament wound up as expected: the U.S. champions, the Boeing Bombers of Wichita, Kans., won the Global Championship but failed to prove that the American national game is still a continental monopoly. Plucky little Hawaii, beaten earlier in the tournament, forced the series into an extra day by upsetting the Bombers 8-6 and then carried the title game to 11 innings before losing 7-4.
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