Wednesday, October 17, 2007
About a week ago, we went to see one of the last Yokohama Baystars games of the season. Though not big sports fans (other than Sumo of course), we still enjoy going to live baseball. Something about sitting in the stands, eating hot dogs and drinking beer makes for a fun day. There's a game on, you say? Those guys down there running around and stuff? I guess that's ok too.
Melody recently started a blog of her own, and she posted a good overview of our experience. It's something different than going to see the Orioles at Camden Yards. They still had hot dogs, and beer, though...so it was a good time.
Baseball teams here in Japan aren't usually named after cities like in the US. Instead, you have corporate sponsorship, and some (at least to gaijin like us) strange names. Like the Nippon Ham Fighters who take their name from a meat packing company. That would be like having a team called the "Hormel Deviled Chickens" in the US. Then there are the Chiba Lotte Marines, named after a brand of chewing gum. Do you think that anyone would root for the Wrigley "Big Reds?"
While there are the usual team names like "Giants" and "Tigers" you also see teams of not so typical team mascots such as "Carp," "Swallows" and the aforementioned "Ham Fighters" (though I bet you could get your butt kicked by a ham if it was big enough and swung by one of the Giants).
Besides the names, there are a few other differences, such as the teams have cheerleaders that come out in between innings to root the players on. Also, there is the fact that you DO NOT cheer for your team unless they are at bat. You'll get dirty looks...trust me. Even then, you have to stay with the approved, programmed cheers (none of which we knew) and say them at the same time as everyone else. It was sort of like going to Mass when I wasn't yet Catholic...everyone around us knew the right things to say. Since we didn't, we just clapped and whacked our little plastic bats together in time with everyone else. Still, a lot of fun was had by all.
Check out what Melody has to say about it. Here. And for more information on Japanese Major League Baseball, go here.
Oh yeah, the Baystars won, 6 to 4. Take that Chunichi Dragons!