Friday, April 02, 2010

Konan Highschool, National Champions!!

I was able to catch most of the last game of the highschool national championships for baseball here in Japan. One of Okinawa's highschool, Konan, was in the final game with a team from Tokyo. They were winning in the 5th inning 5-3 but then the other team caught up and it stayed tied until the 12th, when Konan was able to score 5 runs in the top of the inning. Bottom of the 12th, the put the other team out of their misery and the game was over.

What was absolutely amazing was:

1. The pitcher pitched the entire game.

2. After winning, the team ran to the pitcher mound to congratulate each other but then quickly ran to the center of the field to stand across from their competitors, and bow to both them and then the crowd before shaking hands with the other team. Once completely this, they listened to the National Anthem of Japan, and then headed over to the foul line to bow to the crowd that supported them. The celebration was very subdued and mature. No fans on the field, no crying by either team, and long drawn out celebration on the field itself. They quickly interviewed the coach and team captains.

3. In Japan, players go from highschool baseball to the pros if they are selected. They don't have college baseball to pave the way to the pros like we do in the States so it was pretty cool to think that this game might have sealed the deal for a few of these young men to pursue a career doing something they really love at a very young age.


Four Years Ago on In My Words...Cleaning House

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