Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Play Ball!

Since college basketball season has ended my attention will turn to baseball, but There isn't much time to rest from being a diehard fan, and baseball season is so long it can be tiring at times. However, I'm excited to take several trips out to the ballpark. And while the Mets are wrapping up spring training, the Mariners and A's opened up the MLB season last week in a ballpark that I can say I've attended a baseball game in - the Tokyo Dome. Baseball is huge in Japan and in April 2010 when I took a trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo I made sure to get a ticket to watch the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome. The crowd was amazing. It was mix of people coming straight from work in their plain black suits or people dressed head to toe in Giants gear. Everyone knew the chants and cheers for the team and there was even a section with fans for the visiting team doing their own cheers. The Giants had cheerleaders and mascots that interacted with fans in the corridors before the game began.

Here is a link to some pictures from the opening serious in Tokyo:

Here is a picture from my trip to the Tokyo Dome:

And here is what I shared about my trip to the Tokyo Dome in a blog I used to keep when I lived in Washington, DC:

I entered the Tokyo Dome through the wrong gate because I couldn’t read my ticket. I had been looking forward to seeing a Japanese baseball game ever since I made the decision to go to Tokyo. I walked through the venue in search of something to eat. Some of the stadium food was similar to what we have in the U.S., but other items were exclusive to Japan. I stuck with the familiar stuff.
Finally, I was able to find where my seats were by asking a couple people for help. I took my sit in the Tokyo Dome anticipating a crowded venue. As it got closer to game time the sits filled up with people dawning either business suits or Giants apparel. Almost everyone had noisemakers and clapped them together as the Giants hit a couple homeruns. I glanced around and although I didn’t understand any of the words being spoken or the signage I knew exactly what was going on. I noticed a section on the other side of the Dome from where I was sitting. The people wore blue and red – the colors of the opposing team, the Hiroshima Carps. They seemed to have organized cheers depending on what the team was doing. I had never seen anything like that before at a baseball game in the U.S., unless you count the wave as an organized cheer. The fans were very dedicated to their teams.