Japanese Americans Guthrie, Ishikawa Square Off in World Series

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

After a Game Six where a 10-0 loss made the San Francisco Giants seem invisible, the stage is now set for a winner-takes-all World Series Game Seven in Kansas City.

For Asian Americans, it will be another round featuring a diversity milestone in America’s national pastime. In the biggest game of the series, the Royals start Jeremy Guthrie, a fourth-generation Japanese American. Once again, he could have another duel at the plate with Giant’s left-fielder Travis Ishikawa, another fourth-generation Japanese American.

It may not be a Jackie Robinson moment, but for Asian-American baseball fans, it's an unusual first.

Their initial meeting in Game 3 of the series was believed to be the first time that kind of matchup ever happened in a World Series ever.Guthrie got the better of Ishikawa, who lined out to right and grounded out to first.

Ishikawa isn’t in the Game 7 starting lineup, but he’s already received some acclaim for his post-season play, including his heroic walk-off home run in Game 5 against the Cardinals, to get the Giants into the World Series.

Last week in San Francisco, representatives of the Baseball Hall of Fame met with Ishikawa about his home run bat. Reluctant at first to part with it, Ishikawa reportedly gave up his bat once he was told it would be placed next to Thomson’s bat in Cooperstown.

More items from both the Royals and Giants could be collected once the World Series ends Wednesday night. But the first hit in a Guthrie-Ishikawa face-off in Game 7 could be noteworthy in a game that values the diversity breakthroughs in its history.