Hi all! I just got back from my trip to Japan to see the A's and M's and wanted to share my baseball experience with you. This was the first trip to Japan for both myself and my fiance Liz, so we spent most of the time touring around Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Since we planned this trip to be both about seeing the country as well as baseball, we skipped the exhibition games and only went to the two MLB games on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Japanese people were extremely friendly and made our experience very enjoyable. We would definitely recommend a trip to Japan for anyone who's thinking about going!
The pictures I've chosen to share span across pre-game through post-game. I hope they'll give you guys an idea of what it was like to be at the games. Warning: I've chosen 25 pictures to share, so hopefully it won't overwhelm you!
First of all, even though these games were played as A's home games, let me give you an analogy that may help you to understand what it actually felt like: Think about a home A's game against the Red Sox or Yankees. Yes, about 90% of the fans were cheering for the Mariners, and around 9% of the fans were indifferent. Oh, yeah, only about 1% were cheering for the A's! There were probably an even number of Americans rooting for the A's and Mariners, yet most of the Japanese fans were wearing Mariners jerseys! More specifically, Ichiro jerseys! The place erupted in cheer every time Ichiro came to bat! But they were almost as fanatical for King Felix as well! For most of the first game, while Hernandez was pitching, the Japanese crowd was cheering for him. Every time he got two strikes on an A's batter, they would start chanting "K!" "K!" "K!" "K!" while waving around yellow signs that had a big "K" with a crown on it! So, whenever an Athletic got a hit, the entire crowd would go silent, except for the 5 A's fans (including myself) that would stand up and cheer! Once King Felix was out of the game, it got a lot quieter.
Most of these pictures are of either before or after the games. It'll give you a sense of what happened during the pre and post game ceremonies. I'm sure most of you know what a baseball game looks like, which is why I didn't include many pictures during the games.
So, without further ado, here are some pictures from the first game:
The outside of the Tokyo Dome:
The display inside the stadium before the game:
View of the field during batting practice:
There were many of these walking around:
My fiance Liz and I near our seats down the first base line (she's from Seattle, so don't hate her for wearing a Mariners jersey!):
The flags hanging from the ceiling above the scoreboard:
The inventors of the "Ichimeter" made their way to Japan from Seattle as well!
The lineups during the opening ceremony:
The opening ceremony included a tribute to people who were affected by the earthquake that happened a year ago in Japan. They told stories of three people who had either perished or are in some way helping out the victims.
The people who were described in the opening ceremony got to throw out the first pitches:
During pre-game warm-ups, I'm sure there was some thoughts along the lines of "You took my job!":
Here's our guy throwing some warm-up pitches:
I'm sure most of us are familiar with this sight:
And then this result...
The beer girls were very good at their jobs:
The unfortunate end result of the first game:
That's it for game number 1! Let's hope that game number 2 goes better!
Liz and I anticipating an A's win before the second game:
The pre-game ceremony consisted of "Samurai Baseball":
A slightly different lineup for this game:
But a much better result!
The ending score:
At the end of each game, they chose players of the game and gave them awards. I'm not sure who won after the first game, since it was one of the Mariners players and I couldn't care less. After the second game, both Colon and Cespedes got awards! Cespedes got the "Most Valuable Player" award.
Here are our award winners:
Here's why Colon got the "Fighting Spirit Award":
The crowd leaving the stadium after the game:
That's it! Hope you enjoyed living vicariously through my trip!