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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2004

QUINN WELCOMES NEW JAPANESE CONSUL GENERAL AND WHITE SOXPLAYER SHINGO TAKATSU TO ILLINOIS

CHICAGO— Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn officially welcomed Shingo Takatsu to Illinois as the Chicago White Sox’ first Asian-born player.  Quinn - who will issue an official declaration to Takatsu – was joined by the Japanese Consul General Yutaka Yoshizawa and leaders of Illinois’ Asian American community.
 
The Chicago White Sox - who visited Japan in 1913 to play the New York Giants in a goodwill tour - signed Takatsu in January as a free agent to a one year deal with a 2005 option.
 
Takatsu had an illustrious career with the Yakult Swallows, becoming Japan’s all-time saves leader (260) and not allowing a single run in post-season play, earning him the nickname “Mr. Zero”. 
 
Takatsu has already distinguished himself in a White Sox uniform by retiring 29 consecutive batters, more than any White Sox pitcher in the last 17 years.  As of Wednesday, June 23, Takatsu has a stunning 1.00 Earned Run Average, a 4-0 record and two saves.
 
“In 1959, when the Sox last appeared in the World Series, we called them the ‘Go-Go Sox’,” Quinn said.  “Hopefully this year the Sox will be in the World Series again and we can call them the ‘Shingo Sox’.”
 
Quinn noted that Japan - which enjoys a rich, century-old baseball tradition - has contributed greatly to baseball in the United States, as have the rapidly increasing numbers of Asian-born players.
 
“In these times of conflict, baseball’s international accent has enriched our culture, and fostered understanding and tolerance,” Quinn said.  “Baseball is becoming a global sport, with more than 3,100 players from 16 different nations playing professional baseball in the United States, including players from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China and Taiwan.”
 
Asian-born players are among major league leaders in several categories, including Ichiro Suzuki (batting .330 with18 stolen bases) and Saigon-born Danny Graves, who leads the majors in saves (27).
 
            Quinn was joined by Yutaka Yoshizawa, who was named Consul General of Japan in Chicago in April, 2004, after having served at the Japanese Embassies in India, China and South Africa.
 
At least 425,000 Asian Americans live in Illinois, including 28,000 persons of Japanese descent.  A Japanese-American community has existed continuously in Chicago for more than a century.
 
 
 

State of Illinois

Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn

Declaration

 

WHEREAS, Japan - which enjoys a rich, century-old baseball tradition - has contributed greatly to Major League Baseball in the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, the Chicago White Sox – who visited Japan in 1913 to play the New York Giants in a goodwill tour – recently signed their first Asian-born player - Shingo Takatsu - who is a worthy ambassador; and

 

WHEREAS, drafted by the Yakult Swallows in 1991, Shingo Takatsu has had an illustrious career, becoming Japan’s all-time saves leader with 260 saves and not allowing a single run in post-season play, earning him the nickname “Mr. Zero”; and

 

WHEREAS, Shingo Takatsu has already distinguished himself in the White Sox uniform by breaking a 17-year old record for pitching scoreless innings; and

 

WHEREAS, Major League Baseball has truly become global, with more than 3,100 players from 16 different nations playing professional baseball in the United States, including players from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China and Taiwan; and

 

WHEREAS, in these times of conflict, baseball’s international accent has enriched our culture, and fostered understanding and tolerance among diverse groups; and

 

WHEREAS, at least 28,000 persons of Japanese descent reside in Illinois and a Japanese-American community has existed continuously in Chicago for more than a century; and

 

WHEREAS, we are humbled to join the Consul General of Japan - the Honorable Yutaka Yoshizawa - in welcoming Shingo Takatsu to Illinois,

 

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois, hereby extend a hand of friendship to Shingo Takatsu on behalf of Illinois’ 12½ million people, including our growing Asian American community and baseball fans everywhere.

 

Dated this 24th day of June, 2004.                             

 

                           Pat Quinn

                           Illinois Lieutenant Governor

 


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