Public Programs: Media Projects Development

Period of Performance

5/1/2022 - 2/28/2023

Funding Totals

$75,000.00 (approved)
$75,000.00 (awarded)

Diamond Diplomacy

FAIN: TD-285397-22

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Newton, MA 02458-1341)
Yuriko Gamo Romer (Project Director: August 2021 to present)

Planning for an hour-long documentary on U.S.-Japanese relations through the prism of baseball.

Diamond Diplomacy is an hour-long documentary film for broadcast, about U.S. Japan relations through a shared love of baseball. Two ex-ballplayers, one American & one Japanese will tell their own baseball stories, while key points during a 150-year history (starting in 1872) will be highlighted.

Associated Products

Diamond Diplomacy script (Script)
Title: Diamond Diplomacy script
Writer: Nancy Kates
Writer: Yuriko Gamo Romer
Director: Yuriko Gamo Romer
Producer: Marc Smolowitz
Producer: Yuriko Gamo Romer
Abstract: Baseball has been in Japan almost as long as it has existed here. “Homerun!” is ubiquitous beyond baseball in both the U.S. and in Japan. This is emblematic of how the national pastime has infused itself into both cultures. "Diamond Diplomacy" interweaves historical events with personal stories to explore the 150-year relationship between the U.S. and Japan through baseball. It delves into the experiences of Masanori "Mashi" Murakami, the first Japanese Major League Baseball player, and Warren "Cro" Cromartie, who became a Tokyo Yomiuri Giants MVP after leaving the MLB. Amidst tensions in the mid-20th century, Japan's aggressive colonization triggered rocky relations with the U.S. Despite the hope brought by the 1934 Babe Ruth All-Star baseball tour of Japan, the two nations soon found themselves at war. Japan, unwilling to abandon baseball, banned English baseball terminology. Meanwhile, Japanese Americans faced racial incarceration in remote camps but sought comfort in the sport. After the war, General MacArthur's goodwill tour by the San Francisco Seals proved instrumental, making baseball a vital part of the Allied Occupation plan and earning praise as "the best diplomatic maneuver ever." Through historic moments and perspectives of marginalized players, the documentary offers a unique look at the bond between the two nations and identifies unconventional ambassadors such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty O'Doul and Ichiro Suzuki. The film culminates with the 2023 World Baseball Classic, celebrating the sport's power to unite and highlights Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese face of MLB as he brings Team Japan to claim the WBC Championship.
Year: 2023
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This is the official website for Diamond Diplomacy the upcoming feature documentary film. It also has a page for Baseball Behind Barbed Wire, the short film carved out of Diamond Diplomacy.