The NY Times is carrying an interesting piece about Japan's first Latin player, Roberto Barbon.
Here's a short excerpt:
The man commonly called Chico San grew up imagining quite a different life. The youngest of 11 children from Matanzas, Cuba, Barbon came to Japan in 1955 at the age of 21. He planned to spend a few seasons sharpening his skills so that he could gain interest from a major league team in the United States.
Reminded recently that more than a few seasons had passed since beginning that quest, Barbon laughed loudly and said in English: "You know it. I stayed a lot longer than I ever imagined. Boy, did I ever."
Well worth the read.