Bob Bavasi is a principal with Bavasi Sports Partners. Bob and his wife, Margaret Bavasi, both attorneys-at-law, were founders, owners, and operators of the Everett AquaSox, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
They went on to start the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox, a professionally operated summer college team, and the Horizon Air Summer Series, a summer-long competition among select summer college teams.
As former Chair of the Board of Everett Community College, and later Chair of both the Washington State Community Colleges and the Washington State Tourism and Economic Development Board, his involvement in education, tourism, and baseball has taken him to Japan for many years.
Born out of this interest in Japan is JapanBall.com, the premier English-language site on the Japanese game, and its related JapanBallTickets.com providing concierge-level service for tickets to Japanese baseball games and other Japan events, along with this site JapanBallTravel.com, for Japan baseball tours and travel.
Bob is a certified Japan Travel Specialist, a certification earned from the Japan National Tourism Organization, a department of the Japanese Government.
Mayumi Nishiyama Smith is an integral part of every trip. She is our cultural attaché and gives our guests deeper insights into Japanese culture and ways.
Mayumi is the founder and former director of the Nippon Business Institute and Japanese Cultural Center at Everett Community College in Washington State and is a master at facilitating a wide array of interactions between the United States and Japan on both a personal and business level.
She has been highly recognized for her efforts and was named as one of the very few individual recipients of the Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation in Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the US – Japan Relationship.
Shane Barclay grew up in Cupertino, California and earned acceptance to the University of California, Berkeley due in part to his essay that outlined how he intended to use his degree to work in baseball. While at Cal, Shane studied abroad in the Dominican Republic to improve his Spanish and experience a baseball-crazed culture.
After graduation, Shane interned for a season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Then MLB’s Office of the Commissioner hired him to work out of the Dominican Republic, where he helped bring more structure to the market for international players and established a prospects league.
Shane moved on to MLB’s New York office, where his work included baseball development through camps and coaching clinics, contract approvals and other administrative processes related to player acquisition, in addition to extensive travel to every continent but Antarctica. He also helped operate the World Baseball Classic, All-Star Futures Games, and Arizona Fall League.
Shane now lives in Santa Cruz with his wife, Jessie. In addition to working with JapanBall, he assists with The Baseball Bureau’s Scout School. Through JapanBall he hopes to expand his baseball tourism activities to include trips to the Dominican Republic, Europe, and other countries.
Michael Westbay was born and raised in California's Central Valley. His father took a civilian job at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan as Michael entered 10th grade. The family lived in Yokohama and introduced this country boy to life in a metropolis, and he fell in love with Japan.
Michael graduated from San Diego State University, with a degree in Computer Science the first such graduate to also attain a minor in Japanese from the university. Michael returned to Japan to join a Tokyo software company in 1991.
Mostly working with databases, he merged his passion for baseball into a Japanese baseball player registry that has evolved over the years to be the core of an information system feeding MLB teams with Japanese and Korean baseball data.
Michael began writing about Japanese baseball coming to the attention of Bob Bavasi who engaged him to assist with JapanBall. In particular, Michael, with assistance from his wife Margarita, operate the JapanBall ticketing service JapanBallTickets.com.