Dragons 4, Swallows 2

Continuing my cultural experiences, I went to a baseball game this weekend. This is the second baseball game I’ve been to. The first time was in August of 2005, watching the Chiba Lotte Marines play somebody. The stadium was outdoors and really hot and humid. This time I saw the Chunichi Dragons (for Wikipedia, click here), Nagoya’s home team, play the Yakult Swallows (wikipedia here) from Tokyo. They played at the Nagoya Dome. The team names represent their primary sponsors. Chunichi is a local newspaper and Yakult is a drink (a probiotic milk). Indeed, the Dragons look a LOT like the Dodgers. Hey, we could be watching Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (wikipedia here)!

A Japanese baseball game and an American baseball game are similar, but in so many ways they are different. What I found interesting was that all the amplified team interstitial information and cheers were in English. “Road to Victory” and so on. Of course, the game is mostly the same and the rules are too, so it was easy to follow.

As I’ve shown before, the Dragons have a mouse-y dragon mascot.

Go Dragons!

The snack bars are a little bit similar,

Snack Time!

And a little different although LA stadiums do have Panda Express.

Different food choices

I went to the game with two colleagues and the son of one of my colleagues. We picked 3rd base line tickets, and had a good view of the field.

Looking to the field

Nagoya plays in the cleverly named Nagoya Dome, a fact I was quite thankful for while it poured rain outside.

Surveying the dome

One difference between the Japan and American viewing experience is the use of group cheers and noise makers. The cheering is very organized at a Japanese baseball game. Here is a picture of a guy who kind of looks like me but apparently has graying hair and less hair than I do. He’s participating in a group cheer with sticks borrowed from his colleague.

Go Dragons!

This isn’t what I see when I look in the mirror. When did my highlights become the base color?

Of course, the exploitation of women starts early, and young girls are convinced they want to be cheerleaders.

Go Dragons!

In a previous meeting, I had taught my colleague’s son how to place a spoon on his nose, thrilling his parents I’m sure. It is a big part of my family, so I thought I would pass it on. He’s a clever kid, and made do with a wooden spoon.

Making his parents proud

The game was actually a pretty exciting contest. The Dragons prevailed, 4-2, and a lot of people stayed around for the post game interview that was broadcast on the big screen. The MVP was interviewed as was the winning pitcher.

Dragons win!

Our group was very excited and gave one last cheer before heading home. A fun time for all.


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