Baseball: the great American pastime. Living in Hawaii, it’s rare that I get to go to any professional games, but last night, I found myself in the Sapporo Dome cheering on the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters with a bunch of crazy Japanese fans. I believe that the season is about ready to end and I’m not sure where the Fighters are in the standings but the stands were about half-full and that could have been because it was a Wednesday night or because the team may be out of the playoff race (or maybe it was another reason altogether). But we didn’t let that dampen our spirits as we cheered our hearts out.
On the mound for the Fighters was their star pitcher Yu Darvish. From what I hear, he may be the next pitcher to break into the Majors in the next couple of years. He pitched a great game but he didn’t get much run support and if he caught a few bounces here or there, he may have been the winning pitcher instead of losing a 3-1 pitcher’s duel.
On a side note, we were having a hard time figuring out how hard the pitchers were throwing because they display the velocity in kilometers/hour. Luckily Kristin figured out a conversion formula for us and Darvish was throwing in the low 90s.
Banners everywhere walking into the Sapporo Dome
The sign welcomed us
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the stadium was how seriously they take cheering. I mean we cheer on our team, but these guys were organized and they waved huge flags and had trumpeters and it seemed like everyone in our section had Fighters jerseys and noisemakers.
The flag wavers stand on the concourse
Those plastic bats provide the noise
The guy in the orange leads the cheers
Not to be confused with the actual cheerleaders
If you want to get a good idea of what I mean by organized cheers watch the video below. There are about 10 cheers or so that we yelled over the course of the game. It is interesting because when your team is up to bat, everyone in the section stands throughout the entire half inning and cheers. When your team is in the field the section becomes quiet and the opposing team’s section takes over the cheering. Of course the visiting team has a smaller cheering section, but they were loud nonetheless.
I don’t think anyone mistook me for the real Darvish
Dural and I were matchy-matchy
Despite the loss we had fun anyway