1. Japanese Flag Bandana
2. Samurai Sword
3. Ichiban Sweatshirt
4. Shockingly turquoise shorts
5. Big Hair
Wrong on so many levels…..
For many folks this past week marked “the most wonderful time of the year” – and it’s not Christmas but spring training! The sports world is giddy with news of Yu Darvish, the most highly sought after pitcher from Japan. The Texas Rangers just happened to sign him for a cool 6 year /$60million deal give or take a few bucks. I would turn Japanese for that.
My first experience with baseball was getting hit in the head by Craig Barnett’s wild fast ball at the Keiser baseball field in junior high. He nearly broke my jaw. I had a goose egg the size of a golf ball on my face. Apparently he thought I was a pretty good catcher, but I was not. Since that infamous day, I have a fear of objects flying toward my head. Sit by me at the ballpark and your odds of catching a foul ball increase dramatically – my head is a homing device. And, you won’t have to fight me for the ball – I’ll be the one in the duck and cover position – just simply catch it when it bounces off my head. Or, preferably before it hits me. That would be very much appreciated.
While I’m more of a football and basketball kind of girl, I did grow up listening to Cardinal games on the radio. It was part of the magical summer soundtrack always playing in the background while Daddy grilled ribs every weekend. I never made it to an actual game in St. Louis, but spending a nice spring day at The Ballpark in Arlington is pretty fun – although the window of nice days in Dallas is very narrow. Around June, everyone and everything outside begins to melt like soft serve ice cream. Choose your games wisely.
Yu Darvish is in for a bit of culture shock, but nothing an eight figure salary won’t help alleviate. In 1983, I attended summer school in Japan with a group of U.S. college students. We toured Japanese businesses and attended seminars by day – planning to be future international business leaders. We sang karaoke and drank Kirin beer by night – reverting to our proud redneck roots. We ditched the itinerary and hid out at sumo matches and baseball games, when we grew tired of shrine touring.
Kynlon-san & Talya-san
Yokohama Whalers v. Tokyo Swallows
The Japanese baseball game was a bit different. The rules were the same I suppose, but the fans were very, very quiet. And polite. It was like a respectful church service. And if a foul ball soared into the stadium seats (by my head) the fan who ended up with it always tossed it right back onto the field. There was no mad scramble for the ball by crazed grown men. No one fell from the upper deck trying to catch the ball. No finders keepers in Japanese baseball. But the biggest difference was the ballpark food. They sold bento boxes filled with rice, octopus and pickled vegetables. And people sat around us eating noodles with chop sticks. Huge vats of pickled boiled eggs were sold at the concession where dill pickles should have been. This is what I remember most. NOT your typical ballpark nachos. Not a peanut to be had. And, sadly, there was no Dot Game!!!
|Yes Coke Yes!|
Will the food at the Ballpark in Arlington be tweaked to make Yu, the Japanese media and his fans feel more at home? Perhaps delicious yakitori roasting beside the sausage on a stick would go over well? I don’t think chop sticks would be allowed – very weapon like in this day of heightened security. But dollar sushi night could be a big hit. And Kirin Beer – yes please!
Texas Rangers Ichiban!
The Vapors, “Turning Japanese”
John Fogerty, “Centerfield”
Cool, know what you mean Terry’s head is a homing device also-whether in St. Louis or Memphis foul balls head toward her! Ichiban post!
grace grits and gardening says
It’s a curse.
Tim Hardin says
I don’t think Craig so much thought you were a pretty good catcher. I think it was more he just thought you were a pretty catcher, period.=) And I’m very impressed that you went to Japan for summer school, Sumo wrestling, baseball, and beer. And with you being from Arkansas and all, I can just imagine hearing you call for some ‘chop soooooie pig!!!’