John Sammon

John Sammon is a freelance writer and newspaper reporter, novelist and historical fiction writer, non-fiction book writer, political pundit and column writer, comedy and humor writer, screenplay writer, film narrator and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He lives with his wife near Pebble Beach.

Updated March 2018

sports en

Love of the Game Propels Bay Area Man into Basketball Big Time

It’s an incongruous sight, five-foot-four-inch Kyle Nishimoto on a basketball court craning his neck all the way back, looking up, to advise a player towering over him who is seven feet tall.

But his teammates value his opinions. Nishimoto has made a science of the game.
“It’s not really like a job what I do because I love basketball it’s my passion,” Nishimoto said. “I feel very fortunate to be in this game.”

Nishimoto is one of the very few Japanese Americans to have coaching duties in professional basketball, and he got where he is by determination and by taking …

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Cal League Baseball Elects Lenn Sakata to Hall of Fame

The kind of dedication, determination and commitment that propelled Lenn Sakata into the Big Leagues as a baseball player and then later to become the winningest manager in the history of Minor League baseball in California, was honored on June 19 by Sakata’s induction in the California (Cal) League Hall of Fame.

“The bottom line was seeing some of the kids I coached improve to reach the highest levels of the game,” Sakata said. “That’s been a joy for me.”

Sakata has seen professional baseball evolve into a much different game from what it was when he started back in the …

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culture en

Artist Gains Recognition Designing Works for Alameda Buddhist Church Events

Chris Shinya Tomine’s recognition as an artist started as a simple request, being asked to create posters publicizing annual events held at the Alameda Buddhist Church. The posters did their job and attracted participants to the occasions, but afterward became sought-after collectible artworks.

“Back in 2000 the Buddhist Temple of Alameda asked me if I would do posters for their functions,” Tomine said. “They have two big events, an annual bazaar and the Obon. I said I would. I’ve been doing the posters for them ever since.”

The Buddhist Temple of Alameda located at 2325 Pacific Ave. holds a bazaar …

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Longtime Japanese American Baseball Player Coach Nears Milestone

Every time Jeff Enkoji tells his players he’s thinking of quitting as coach of the Florin Baseball Team in Sacramento because he’s been around for so long, the players loudly protest and force him to stay.

“I’ve stuck with it, I joke around and say I might quit, and the players they say ‘no you can’t, no way! You’ve got to just stay for one more season,’” Enkoji said.

The players know Enkoji has become an iconic symbol of Japanese American baseball in California.

At 55 he has been with the team for 37 years. The magic number “40” his …

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Man Overcame Racism to Become Racing Legend

Kenny Hirata will tell you the most important thing to becoming a great race car driver is to concentrate, concentrate—on winning.

“When that light turns green, if you don’t jump on it, you’ll get beat,” he said.

It’s a particular skill he’s acquired, as today Hirata is considered one of the legends of the sport. However, he had to overcome adversity including imprisonment during World War II to do it, and prejudice, back in a day when Japanese Americans in auto racing were unheard of.

“I always wanted to go fast,” Hirata said. “I couldn’t have done any of it …

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