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Please note the ESPN documentary on Japan HS baseball National Tournament played each at Koshien Stadium in Osaka. 40,000 people watch the games.

Beginning 1983, our American "All Stars" selected and Coached by Pro Scouts played the Japan National Team. The games were played in Koshien and other Pro Stadiums and our players included over 200 future MLB including  Torii Hunter.

Later Torii and H. Matsui played on the Los Angeles Angels.

https://www.mlb.com/news/japan...tured-in-documentary

When Tanaka pitched against Matt Harvey at Cooperstown Stadium, 40 million watched on Japan TV.

Bob

Original Post

As one who witnessed the 2002 Goodwill Series to which Bob refers above, I can attest that the following that baseball, generally, receives in Japan is extraordinary. Every one of our six games was played in a Japanese major league stadium, and the turnout had us American family members awe struck.

It was truly a sight to behold; and, once we'd witnessed these games between all-stars from the six prefects against our American all-star team, we could readily understand how the Japanese high school championship could pack a Japanese major league stadium.

I wish every American fan of the game could witness first-hand the passion and reverence accorded the game by Japanese fans. It's truly a sight to behold and has given my son and me a memory that we will never forget. We will also both be indebted to Bob, his staff, and the series' sponsors for the opportunity to have been a part of it.

This is one of the coolest baseball experiences in the world. My husband took our son last year on a baseball trip to Japan with MVP International, and they were lucky enough to get to experience Koshien on his birthday. He was not happy at the time to have to get up at 5 am to stand in line for tickets in the heat for hours, but he said it was an amazing experience and definitely the highlight of the trip. The energy, the rituals, and the pure spirit of baseball there were unparalleled. This should be on a bucket list for any baseball fan. I hope we can make it back there, so I can also attend. Thank you for sharing the documentary. Do you know if they will air again or if it is available anywhere to stream? 

Prepster:

Did you see the preview of the documentary?

https://vimeo.com/366753473?ref=tw-share

There are 4,500 HS teams in Japan and only 49 will play in Koshien.

The Regional Playoffs will attract 5,000 fans each game. Actually for the players who play in Koshien they will receive a "job offer" from the Japan Corporations. After every game the media interviews the players. They are treated like "rock stars"!

Pitchers throw complete games [mounds are flat] and they also keep throwing between innings. Each pitcher has his arm X-ray after the game. The Japan officials knew my opinions on "over pitching" and we often discussed.

Bob

 

I have now, Bob. Thanks very much.

There are some very familiar looks in that clip, aren't there? It caused me to recall so much from our experience; in particular, the Japanese players' academy-mates, cheering their all-stars on in excited unison from the stands. It's awe-inspiring.

Another recollection: In one of the six cities (Either Kumamoto or Nagasaki.), we stayed at the same hotel where a visiting Japanese major league team was staying. We were checking out as they were checking in or vice-versa. To witness the melee that accompanies a major league team's presence was also unforgettable. Those players are exalted.

Last edited by Prepster

I watched it with my rising HS junior kid. Talk about shock and awe...Typical him, he was first blown away by the pitching velos then he converted the KPH to MPH and made some snarky reply about if he was there he would drop tanks...I really wish he was there, shaved head, seniors teaching underclassmen how to be behave and to articulate when speaking to their coaches, fans etc., coaches ask them to do something and they ALL hop to it.

Last edited by 2022NYC

Smoke;

the Hawaii/Japan Goodwill Series has existed for 60 years. It

Please see the information on the twin BP in Japan. During our 17 years of games, I often pitched BP. The fields were turf or all dirt to allow the twin BP.

With 2 BP cages the baseballs were flying in all directions. The pitching screens had no "wings" on the sides. We placed the left handed hitters in the right side cage to lessen the danger. This was "scary". Also efficient [time management].

Bob

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