Tokaidai Sagami won Senbatsu. I'm pretty sad about that. I really thought Sanko would go all the way... and when Kyukoku beat them yesterday, I decided to put my faith in Kyukoku to win, since I liked their team (read: I liked their pitcher Miyoshi and catcher/captain Takajo) second-best overall. Oh well.
I went to the Carp-Swallows charity games at Jingu on Saturday and Sunday. The Swallows won both games. Shohei Tateyama got the win on Saturday and Kyohei Muranaka on Sunday. Wladimir Balentien hit two homeruns on Sunday. Yuya Fukui took the loss for Hiroshima. Before both games I donated 1000 yen; on Saturday I shook hands with Oshimoto, Hashimoto, and the Carp's Ishihara, and on Sunday with Yasushi Iihara (!!) and with Tsubakuro.
Also, Kozo and I were interviewed by NBC after said donation line. Kozo is a much more eloquent speaker than I am, and my guess is if either of us make it onto TV it'll be him. The guy who interviewed us was Lee Cowan, and he said that I was "the happiest person we've talked to in 3 weeks in Japan". I gushed about how much I love Japanese baseball and how I thought that these charity games were EXACTLY what the NPB should do -- lift people's spirits and bring baseball friends together as well as raise money to help the earthquake victims. I also invited him and his crew to come visit us during the game, but they apparently weren't likely to be allowed to film it anyway. Kozo spoke after me and since he's a debate and public speaking expert, he sounded really, really good. So everyone lucks out in that NBC picked me out because I'm a white girl, but then they managed to get Kozo to speak, which they never would have if he hadn't been with me. Look for us on TV!
BTW, since I haven't had time to write about all of the games I've been going to here -- quite frankly, I'm only in Japan until April 12 and want to spend as much time as possible LIVING life here instead of WRITING about it -- here's my game tally so far:
March 20: Baystars vs. Lions ni-gun, Yokosuka Stadium
March 24: Odate Houmei vs. Tenri, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 24: Yokohama vs. Hasami, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 24: Kanazawa vs. Kakogawa Kita, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 25: Nichidai San vs. Meitoku Gijuku, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 25: Tigers vs. Buffaloes ni-gun, Naruohama Stadium
March 26: Chiben Wakayama vs. Sado, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 26: Sogo Gijutsu vs. Riseisha, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 26: Kokugakuin Kugayama vs. Kyushu Gakuin, Koshien Stadium, Senbatsu
March 29: Fighters vs. Marines ni-gun, Lotte Urawa Stadium
March 30: Hosei University vs. Chuo University, Hosei Stadium
March 31: Swallows vs. Lions ni-gun, Yakult Toda Stadium
April 1: Meiji University vs. Tokai University, Shimaoka-Utsumi Ballpark
April 2: Swallows vs. Carp, Jingu, charity game
April 3: Swallows vs. Carp, Jingu, charity game
Pretty much since the first few days that were spent on my JHS's graduation, the rest of my trip has pretty much been spent on baseball, karaoke, walking, and eating. I also visited the Yakyu Inari shrine on the 19th, and Nagoya Kyujo (not the Dome) on the 27th.
I'll be hitting a few more games this week, of the ni-gun and college variety. Yay?
Speaking of the college variety, it seems that Shimabukuro is going to start on the 5th for Chuo, the first freshmen they've had as an opening day pitcher in 48 years, supposedly.
For the record, too, I've donated a whole ton of money to earthquake relief at these games -- basically my pledge has been that any game I go to where they have a donation box, I will put in 1,000 yen. The fun part has been when it also involved like, shaking hands with Swallows players, or being like "Hattori! I choose you!" at the Marines game, and so on.
In general, I've been ridiculously happy to be in Japan this trip, and it's making me wonder if my decision to move back to the US is the right one or not. I still think I need some perspective on all this, though.