My MLB Road trip 2016 – Get ready to go on the road #MLB

Dream trip

This trip is a kind of my dream to go to the United States to watch a ball game by visiting many ballparks. This dream will come true next week.

I booked the flight ticket flying from Tokyo to New York and back from Chicago. I will stay there for about two weeks including the visit to New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit and then Chicago. (Maybe Milwaukee, too.)

My plan is to watch five or six ballgames while I am there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include my favorite player Ichiro’s Marlins’ game nor other Japanese players like Maeda, Darvish, and Iwakuma, but the primary purpose of this trip is to go to ballparks to feel the atmosphere, history, and culture of MLB ballparks.

I have been to ballparks in the west coast such as San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and Los Angels, but never in the East Coast and Midwest.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Drive again

And this trip is not all about baseball. I have some free time to do sightseeing in New York City and Boston maybe in Baltimore. Also, I’m going to rent a car at Philadelphia to drive through Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Detroit.

I did that kind of road trips twice in the United States before. One is to start at San Diego and drive West to the other side of the continent. That was back in 2008.

The second time was even more amazing. I started San Francisco then drove down to grand circle and drove north up to Yellow Stone and the border with Canada. Finally drove down along the West Coast to San Francisco. That was in 2010.

I am so excited to have another trip in the states where I could say my second home country. If we have a chance, Let’s meet somewhere during the journey. Please feel free to ping me.

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Won the tech companies league!

The team I sometimes play for belongs to the league which consists of international distributors in tech industries. We survived preliminary league a few weeks ago and had final round yesterday.

We dramatically had two comeback wins in a row and won the league for the first time in the last eight years.

I was a starter at semi final, but struggled with my control. In the first inning, I got two outs easily and then gave them three hit-by-a-pitch consecutively. I set down the next batter.

Even after the second inning, my two-seam tends to make toward the batter if right handed. I hit 6 or 7 batters yesterday.

Although my bad pitching, the game was really close. The score was 3 to 4, we were behind. However, we turned them back in the final inning!

The final game was almost same. Another pitcher started the game and I relieved the last two innings without allowing a run. We scored a lot in the final inning and won the game. What a dramatic day!

Addicted to Baseball (and Meat)

SF Giants won National Leagued pennant yesterday. Congrats to SF baseball fan, but I am more interested in playing baseball by myself. #fb

I played for two teams this weekend. On Saturday I played for the team I belonged to before going to the U.S in 2008. This is the team I played for over 11 years. When I left them, they had a lovely farewell party for me. However, two years are not short. One third of members were replaced with young players. It is a bit sad, on the other hand it is healthy for organization. Including new member, I rather enjoyed playing the game.

After the game, I and our catcher Dah-yama, who lives near my apartment, went to Korean Town in Shin-Okubo to get some meats and beer. We headed Korean restaurant called Tonchan, which is famous for its Samgyeopsal. Samgyeopsal is popular Korean dish, which is a part of pork belly meat. But we found really long queue in front of the place, so changed to another place. I talked to a waiter about Tonchan and came to know that this restaurant uses exactly same meat with the one Tonchan serves. The following picture is Samgyeopsal and Dah-yama, who did not notice his collar folded inside. 🙂

This is Korean alcohol drink, Makgoli. Served by the kettle.

Gamjatang is also popular in this restaurant. Yes, it was awesome!!

Because another team had a game this morning, I woke up early and joined it. This team plays more seriously, so they often do sacrifice bunt. I like the atmosphere in the team, that anybody concentrate and prepare for the game well.

Although I am a middle aged player, I still want to play better. I want to become a better player comparing to me ever. I wonder how I could throw a ball even faster, how I could hit a ball stronger, quite often. Maybe running to train muscles of hips and legs is effective to play baseball better. I ran 12 km in the rain this evening and had meat at my favorite Chinese restaurant as usual.

 

Rainy Holiday

Although it was raining today, I went to sporting goods stores in Shinjuku to get baseball cleats. I bought Adidas one! For my generation, mid thirties, Adidas is definitely soccer brand. However, when I saw this cleats, it looks really cool to me and I almost decided to buy it at first sight. The enamel material looks wonderful and the color combination – white and navy blue – is also nice.

After the shopping, I went to the batting cages to hit some balls. It is located in Kabukicho area, which is famous for adult entertainments and not safe place relatively, so I do not want to walk around after the sun set. However the place is one of the closest one from my apartment. Anyways, I practiced batting and it was not bad.

Equipments and physical conditions are prepared well. I pray the weather would be good this Saturday, when we have a game. The forecast says it will rain, though… Let’s pray for sunny weather!

Baseball lover

I am excited about playing ballgame this weekend. I hope it will be sunny day. I have jogged last 10 days in a raw, so am in good condition. Ready to pitch!!

When I was in San Francisco, I played softball almost every weekend, wearing Ichiro Tshirt. Since moving back here, I played baseball only once, just pitched two innings.

I have noticed how much I love playing it. I am going to throw my best pitch, two-seam fast ball, for every pitch. (I hope our opponent team doesn’t see this post.) I will pitch like Mariano Rivera, who always throw his signature pitch, cutter. I cannot wait for the game in the weekend!

The picture is from ESPN.