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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

MLB players revel in Japan’s ‘carnival’ stadium atmosphere

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball aren’t really so different on the field. Everyone is playing the same game and the rules are more or less the same, with some exceptions.

But as the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics found out during their exhibitions against the Yomiuri Giants and Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, respectively, the leagues are worlds apart in the stands, where Japanese fans take an active role in creating an atmosphere that’s a lot different than in MLB.

“That was awesome,” Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon said after facing the Giants. “It was awesome. They care about baseball. It’s an exhibition game, 46,000 people here (actual attendance: 46,315). That’s awesome. You don’t see that very often.”

Hopefully, none of them were disappointed that they didn’t have to actually fight hams….

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:33 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, neutral site games, stadium

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: March 19, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5823698)
Fighting a ham seems like it might still be easier than packing a bay.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 19, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5823717)
I still can't believe that the regular season opens tomorrow.
   3. DL from MN Posted: March 19, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5823734)
Ballparks in the US emphasize the corporate suite experience. That is not compatible with the Japanese fan atmosphere. MLB would need to do something similar to the student section at an NCAA basketball game. Create a (cheaper) season ticket section for fans who want to scream and yell, preferably in the sight lines of the TV cameras.
   4. RMc accompanies the Griffmen to Augusta Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:33 AM (#5823940)
Fighting a ham

The Japanese baseball joke that never gets old!
   5. homerwannabee Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:04 AM (#5823941)
Of course the big news is Ichiro played in his 19th MLB season in front of 45,000 adoring fans.


Go Ichiro!!!!!! Greatest singles hitter to ever play the game!
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:50 AM (#5823945)
Create a (cheaper) season ticket section for fans who want to scream and yell, preferably in the sight lines of the TV cameras.
Teams missed a chance to do this by choosing instead empty Barcaloungers in the moat section.
   7. Cris E Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5823977)
"You can sit along the railing, but you need to drink a Red Bull every other inning. Here, carry this clapper."
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5824002)
I've never understood.... is it that Nippon is fighting ham or it is that Nippon's fighters are made of ham?
   9. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5824010)
Gonna play this straight - the team names are corporate. So, the company is "Nippon Ham", the nickname is the "Fighters". Thus, I suppose they fight for ham.

   10. PreservedFish Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5824011)
What is ham's natural enemy? Smoked turkey?
   11. McCoy Posted: March 20, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5824013)
Staphylococcus aureus
   12. PepTech Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5824026)
Well, Shem and Japheth, as a kid, probably.
   13. PepTech Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5824029)
I still can't believe that the regular season opens tomorrow.
Well, a Chatter would help :)
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5824046)
What is ham's natural enemy?

Leviticus
   15. TubaOnFire Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5824091)
Has anyone here been to a game in Japan? I am going to be there in early June and was thinking of heading out to Seibu to see the Lions. Giants are on the road the week we are there and I was leaning towards a dome as June is the rainy season.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5824093)
#15 I saw the Yakult Swallows host the Nippon Ham Fighters when I visited Japan back in 2008. Yu Darvish started for the Ham Fighters. It was a fun and quirky experience, and my wife, who isn't a huge baseball fan, enjoyed it. I'd recommend it.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 20, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5824132)
I am going to be there in early June and was thinking of heading out to Seibu to see the Lions. Giants are on the road the week we are there and I was leaning towards a dome as June is the rainy season.


By far the best way to get there is by rail - the stadium is literally right by the railway station. That's because Seibu, who owns the team and the stadium, are a railway company, and they wanted to encourage fans to take the train to their games.
   18. TubaOnFire Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5824157)
#16 and #17 - thanks. Sounds like it will be a blast.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 09:21 PM (#5824167)
Watching a game in Japan is still on my bucket list. Looks like a blast.
   20. manchestermets Posted: March 21, 2019 at 05:34 AM (#5824197)
I went to two games when I visited Tokyo - a Giants game at the Tokyo dome, and a Chiba Lotte Marines (Chiba is the place, just outside Tokyo, Lotte is the corporate owner) game. It was great fun - it was when Bobby Valentine was managing the Marines and Benny Agbayani was playing the outfield for them. Tokyo's an amazing city, I'd recommend visiting it to anyone, and I'd love to see more of Japan.
   21. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:30 AM (#5824198)
I went to two games when I visited Tokyo - a Giants game at the Tokyo dome, and a Chiba Lotte Marines (Chiba is the place, just outside Tokyo, Lotte is the corporate owner) game. It was great fun - it was when Bobby Valentine was managing the Marines and Benny Agbayani was playing the outfield for them. Tokyo's an amazing city, I'd recommend visiting it to anyone, and I'd love to see more of Japan.


Being an anxious type, I often game out what I would do if I were suddenly unemployed. The thought of having enough time to spend a month or so traveling around Japan, particularly during baseball season, is often a nice silver lining.
   22. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 21, 2019 at 07:07 AM (#5824202)
Ichiro to retire after this game ends.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: March 21, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5824208)
Seeing a ballgame in Japan has been on my bucket list since before Ichiro hit the majors, which was also before these things were known as bucket lists. In fact I take it as an indication that I've wasted most of my last 20 years that I haven't achieved a fairly achievable and so closely held ambition. The list of things I want to do during retirement is now getting perilously long (and expensive).
   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5824231)
Visiting Japan is probably #1 on my bucket list. If my health allows it, it's definitely something I'd love to do someday.
   25. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5824238)
#15 I saw the Yakult Swallows host the Nippon Ham Fighters when I visited Japan back in 2008. Yu Darvish started for the Ham Fighters. It was a fun and quirky experience, and my wife, who isn't a huge baseball fan, enjoyed it. I'd recommend it.

I saw the Fighters a few years earlier, when they still played in Tokyo. I think they shared a stadium with Yakult then? Meiji Jingu Stadium, which was near the Meiji temple and the Harajuku neighborhood. That was a lot of fun and I second all of the comments about going to games there. I've also seen the Giants at the Tokyo Dome and the Orix Buffaloes in the Osaka Dome. I'm taking my girls (10 and 7) to Japan this summer and will try to take them to Hanshin Tigers game.

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