Sunday, July 15, 2007

Japanese Samba - Baseball

Living in Japan for so long without posting an entry about Japanese samba will make you feel something is lacking, right? So in this entry, I'll introduce Japanese samba. No, not football, soccer or futsal. But it is baseball. Japanese baseball. The reason I called it Japanese samba is because baseball is the most popular sports here in Japan. Just like football in Brazil and gasing in Malaysia.
To get a real atmosphere of this game, I went to a baseball ground in my place not so long ago. It was just around 15 minutes walk from my kosen. But this is the first time I actually step into the ground for all these while I'm in Nagaoka.
Nagaoka Town Yukyuzan Baseball Ground
When I was there a few weekends ago, there was this Match between Yomiuri Giants, a popular Tokyo based team against team Goodwill. I have no idea how good both of these teams as I have never seen a full baseball match before in my whole life, let alone knowing about its rules.
The wasn't any people on the ticket booth, so I went in without burning my wallet.
where the counter had people gone?
Well actually, it was a free entrance. No tickets, no nothing. That's the reason I went to see a game which I know nothing about it; coz it's free. Do you think I'll go if the charge me even 100yen? No, I won't.
Typical Malaysian. You can't blame me.
random pics
When I was there, the game had already started long time. It was the 4th game I think. As I have already mentioned, I have no idea at all on this game. Same goes with cricket and rugby.
I just find these game boring. Sorry guys if I've offended anyone on that.
spot the ball (if you can find one)
The attendance was pretty encouraging as the ground was almost filled up. There was around 1000 plus people watching the game. Not bad for a ground in the middle of so-called kampung.
Compare that to our football stadium in Malaysia. I think we don't need to waste time thinking about that, right?
spot the ball 2 (if there's any)
If I take some effort to get to know this game, perhaps I would fall in love with this game, even more than football. But no, I don't think so. It's like waiting a dog to grow horns for something like that to happen to me.
I used dog instead of cat because the probability for a dog to grow its horns is much lower than cat. So, you can guess what's the chance I'll take up baseball.
no need to spot liao coz it's so obvious
But one thing for sure, what I know about this baseball game is that you got to hit the ball as hard as you can, throw the bat down and run to the next checkpoint. It's like 'Pukul, Baling, Lari'. Make that in short and you'll get 'Pukul Bala'.
Not a bad game to have an interest in since it could get rid of your bad luck. So get a bat today and start hitting your bala.
it's not spot the ball this time; instead it's guess the speed of the ball
As I have no idea how the point system works and how a team can gain points, I spent most of my time waiting for the home team supporters to go "yeah!!".
But I didn't follow them "yeah!!" coz I was worried that I might be sitting at the wrong place at the wrong time. You see, lets say that guy beside me is the opposing team's supporter, how will he react to my "yeah!!"?
Yeah, I might ended up in hospital. Worse still, if he's someone with a sumo size, I'll perhaps be in the ICU. If you wonder what ICU means, it actually stands for Internal Cabbage Unit. In the end, I'll get vegetable-d by him and not be able to tell you this cabbage's tale here.
By playing baseball, the position you're in while playing it can make you withstand your natural call. So, you don't have to have a break time in the middle of the game and hit the toilet. Take this as an example.
you take this position when you feel like want to pang sai
I know that was crap. But actually, the substitutes do practice their 'Pukul Bala' thing throughout the game, beside the ground. There, I notice this ang moh player. His name is Jeff Liefer, an American.
I'll tell you later on why I mentioned his name here.
some light practices while Liefer (#40) is cleaning his bat
In the middle of the game, suddenly my lucky charm sesat-ed and came to find me. One of the batter miss-hit the ball and it flew so high that it actually gone over the 50-metre-high fence in front of the spectators. It almost flew out of the ground, but it didn't.
Instead, it bounced down the steps and rolled to the back of my seat. Apa lagi, I picked it up before one battalion of people come rushing at me.
the ball, which I later got Liefer to autograph on it
I noticed that it was an official ball. Initially I came just to have a look at this game and never knew to get something like this. I later have Liefer to autograph on the ball when they was boarding the bus back.
When I checked out at the stalls selling souvenirs a printed autograph ball cost 840yen (RM28). That's just a printed one. The one I got was a match-day ball. With an autograph on it. How cool was that? No a bad day, I thought. You know what, you don't get this often!
random pics during the game
I know my friends will be regretting for not joining me for this game.
It was getting late by the time the game ended. In fact, I didn't know it had ended until the announcer started telling us goodbye. So, the blur blur me just followed them out of the ground.
game over
By the way, team Giants won the game. I think the final score was 6-5. Not so sure though. But who cares, right? I wasn't on either sides. So whichever team who wins, I'll just support them from now on.
Sounds so Chelsea, no?
team Giants celebrating their victory
Seeing the people still crowding the area outside, I went and checked out what was happening. They were actually waiting for the players to come out and board the bus. All were with their markers, papers, magazines, hat, etc hoping that they can get them autographed.
So I joined into the craze as well. The girls were shouting "Uuwahh, kakkoi!" when the players started coming out to board the bus. And as expected, all were pushing in order to get their stuff autograph. Some was even more interesting. They took bags of sake, bouquet of flowers, etc, all to be given to their beloved players.
waiting the player to come out anxiously
There I was alone, a gaijin, sesat in the middle of the craze without knowing a single of their players. But I understand. Those baseball players are just like the Beckhams (formerly) and Ronaldos to them. I'm sure most kaki bola will do the same thing if they see those players.
While standing in the middle of the crowd, I heard something which sounds familiar.
"背が高くて、いいですね。" (Wah, tall very good hor!)
At least I now got to know one of the very few good points to be tall. You don't have to jump like chimpanzees to check out what's happening in front. The same thing applies when you are passing your stuff to be autographed. Just use your long hands and you'll be the envy of everyone.
Again the theory of Perkadaran Langsung does apply this time.
Jeff Leifer from team Goodwill
It was during this time I borrowed a marked from a Japanese kid to have my ball (not my ballS) autographed by Jeff Liefer. He seems to be a nice guy compared to the other lan si's Japanese players who don't even bother to acknowledge the people there.
They just walked and buat tak tau, as if they didn't noticed the people there shouting for their names.
Who they think they are? Buta ar? If the supporters are not behind the team, they are nothing. I wonder why am I ranting here.
Beside this baseball ground, there is a swimming pool complex. But I won't be drowning myself here, unless they provide a baby pool. At least I will be able to swim along with the babies.
But I know, once I entered the tiny pool, the water will be splashed out and those pity babies will run for their life, thinking a tsunami has hit their pool.
There are also stalls being set up selling souvenirs.
I went to the stalls and check out what's in store.
Guess what I saw? I got to know that the mascot for team Giants is Giabbit - a rabbit, just like me.
No wonder I'm a giant!


michelleg said...

omg one word to describe u, lame n funny. ok thats 2 words. why do u say ur a giabbit?

Calvin said...

michelleg: i didn't say i'm a giabbit la. i said i'm a RABBIT nia ma :P