The next game I am going to is Tigers vs. Baystars next Sunday, August 12. Bought tickets today, for me and a friend who is leaving Japan the next day, sadly.
I also went to the Tokyo Dome again to get myself a Fighters cellphone keychain thingy, in the hopes that I have a cellphone soon to use it with. Hopefully someone I work with will help me get one in the next few days.
At the To:Do shop, there was an American guy there with two kids, trying to find them Giants jerseys, but they were having trouble figuring out sizes, so I stepped in and showed them the size charts and the sample jerseys hanging on the wall and all. The kids are there on Make A Wish, apparently. The store clerks told the guy to get an Ogasawara jersey, because he asked them who the best player on the Giants is. I was like, "Grrrrrrrr." "What?" "Ogasawara." "They said he was the best player." "He is pretty good. He was even my absolute favorite player, for YEARS... when he played for the Fighters. Then he signed with the Giants and shaved his beard and... you know Johnny Damon? Same exact thing." So I ended up convincing them to get a Yoshinobu Takahashi jersey and a Koji Uehara jersey instead. Go me. It was weird seeing the Ogasawara stuff in the Giants store. He looks so... wrong.
I wanted baseball cards but they had none at the dome, so I got directions to the Yamashita bookstore, also near the dome, and IT HAS A HUGE SECTION OF BASEBALL BOOKS AND MAGAZINES! It was so cool. Got my Fighters 2007 Guidebook and this week's Shukan Baseball, and debated getting a Kazumi Saitoh "All About Kazumi" biography/picture book, heh, and the Chunichi yearbook as well, but didn't get those. I also only got one pack of cards, though I'm debating getting the 2007 all-star set. I can always go back I suppose. I also got some baseball figures out of a capsule machine outside the store, because I am a dumbass. Maybe I can foist off the Kanemoto one on a Tigers fan at the game next week; not sure what I'll do with the Maeda one of the Carp, and I didn't put any more money in after those two since I figured there was little chance of me getting the Darvish one.
On the way back to the station I ran into the Make-a-Wish guy again and we chatted baseball for a while. The kids are going to the Tigers-Giants game tomorrow so I gave him tons of advice for ways to not piss off either fan group. He thanked me again for my help, and was like "How long have you lived in Tokyo? You seem to know your Japan and Japanese baseball stuff really well," and I was like "Err.. to be honest... since Saturday?"
It's been a pretty funny day in that aspect, really. I can go to a playguide and negotiate ordering tickets to a baseball game just fine; I can talk to people about random movies and stuff in Japanese just fine; I filled out my gaijin registration forms just fine; I can get and give directions, etc. But after the Dome I went to get some curry for dinner, and I swear that them asking me "What level of spice do you want?" completely threw me through a loop and reminded me that I can't REALLY speak Japanese at all.
I also read a Koshien magazine that I really need to go buy at some point. It was about old Koshien games and had pictures of a lot of current/recent NPB/MLB players from their high school days. Ichiro was so cute! The best, though, was the story of Kazuhiro Sasaki playing against Shigetoshi Hasegawa in Koshien in the late 80's.
Oh, one more thing: Saitama's representatives at the Koshien baseball tournament is apparently Urawa Gakuin, which is pretty close to where I live. Awesome, huh? I saw posters about it all over Kawaguchi today. Very exciting! I wonder if I can go see them play at school sometime. Sadly, it seems that I actually won't really be able to watch Koshien very well from here -- maybe some of the games in the morning before I go to work, if I wake up early enough...