Monday, May 30, 2011

What's ham got to do with baseball?

My current school gave me a special present a couple weeks ago - three free tickets to see the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. The Fighters are the professional baseball team of Hokkaido, and when I first arrived in Sapporo, I was baffled by their name. Why "Ham" Fighters. Was this some kind of Japanese phrase I wasn't aware of? Come to find out later that Nippon Ham is the sponsor of the team, and has nothing to do with any ancient pork warriors.

I'd been wanting to go to a Fightes game for some time now, and was so excited to finally visit the Sapporo Dome yesterday afternoon. They were playing the Hiroshima Carp, and boy, was the Carp's fans fired up!

No, that's not a UFO, that's the Sapporo Dome!

A small band of HIroshima fans. They were fired up nonetheless.

Now, I've been to a few American baseball games in my day, and I must say that Japanese baseball fans are very different. For one, all the cheering is very organized - songs, chants, and cheers are all done together. And I noticed a lack of drunken yelling as well. To tell you the truth, I didn't hear any negative yells or boos at all. Respect all the way. And speaking of the cheers, they were awesome. Here's one I recorded after the Fighters made a run.

We all had a great time, and in the end, the Fighters won 1-0. I think I just might have become a baseball fan!

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