June 6

Did not get much done during the day, except a couple posts on this blog. It was a rainy, dreary day until about 4:30pm (though still raining), when I went to another Ham Fighters game. This time, no one really wanted to go with, so I made the adventure alone. This, I guess, could be considered my second effort to maneuver around this country without help. Much more difficult than my solo trip to the JR Tower, as I needed to interact with people to accomplish the tasks. First step, find the right subway line to take me southeast. That was no problem as I had done it previously with Watanabe-san and Emilie. Once off the train I followed all the Fighters fans to the stadium, where my first true test would shortly take place . . . purchasing a ticket. You would not think that it would be too hard because they have pictures of sections (as they do at Comerica Park), so I pointed at a section and said “Kore kudasai”(this one please). That was when the real problems arose, evidently the section was for non-reserved seating (which is what I talked about in my last Ham Fighters post), and the teller asked me (in Japanese of course) if I knew the section I wanted was a non-reserved section . . . the conversation was basically through glass, it was raining, there was a line beginning to form behind me, and I had no idea what she was talking about. So, she went to get someone that spoke English. I finally got my ticket after about 7-10 minutes of standing at the ticket office.

Objective 1: Failure.

Next, I went into the stadium. Although I was certain that the ticket I had purchased was in the same section as the previous game, I couldn’t tell because there were no numbers on the ticket. So I looked for someone to direct me. I asked a vendor “Kore (pointing to ticket) wa, doko desu ka (Where is this located? . . .at least I think that is what it means), but the vendor looked at me like I was crazy and then found someone who could speak English . . .

Objective 2: Failed.

Finally I got pushed in the right direction and headed toward my section. On the way I picked up a dog on a stick and a brew. The section was definitely the same as the game before; however, this time, I sat a little closer to 3rd base.

One of the best moments of the night was when I read the lineup on the scoreboard (ok, only those players that were spelled out in Katakana . . . foreigners) and saw that Jose Macias was going to be playing Left Field. (Another funny side note is that Karim Garcia, another former D Tiger, was playing for the opposing team, the Orix Buffaloes . . . man were the Tigers bad . . .) In any case, the game got started, and by the second inning it became evident that it wouldn’t be much of a contest. The inning started of with two consecutive singles by Inaba and Yukio Tanaka, and then stepped up Macias. He rocked a double off the left field wall for a rbi. Two batters later there was a sac fly to score Tanaka (and of course the hustling Macias advanced to third). Next batter, my favorite player now, Hitori Morimoto (lead off man) walked, stole second, and then he and Macias scored on a single by Kensake Tanaka . . .

. . . As a side, Erin, Morimoto walks up to the plate to Sean Paul’s “Shake That Thing” when everyone else has some slow ballad type song or strange disco song . . . oh except Macias, his was a dirty south tune . . . but no idea the name. Also, later in the game, Morimoto stretched a single into a double and made great leaping catch at the wall . . . awesomeness . . .

In any case, just like that the Fighters were up 4-0 and Orix didn’t have a chance. The final score was 8-1 Fighters. Of course, for his heroics in the second, my man Macias got one of the stars of the game (they have a ceremony for the 2 stars of the game at the end . . . including hilarious interviews, where people in the stands go nuts). After the ceremony, I made my way back to the Sapporo station without problems, and then rode my bike home through some pouring rain.

Overall Objection of having a good time: Successful.

Pics from the game

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