Last weekend my host family's grandson came to visit and he's a huge fan of baseball, and the Seibu Lions team in particular. As I saw him walking out from the train, he toted along a backpack that was probably about half his size. I asked him what was in it and he said it was filled with things for the baseball game like noise makers, flags, etc. to cheer on his favorite team. The Lions were actually the Japan Series champs last year, and I was in Japan (but not at the game) for their victory. Anyway, I had high expectations for this game I was going to, but as hard as they tried, the Eagles beat them. Lame. Oh well, I don't really have any loyalty to any specific team, so it doesn't really matter. The baseball games are pretty much the same as in the states. I think the stadiums can get quite a bit bigger back home though. There is a band section, a visitor section, mascots (which they had 3 or 4 of...) cheerleaders and cheers, just like in America, so not much to note there. The mascots were quite hilarious though. There was a Lion (duh), but they also had a few less likely mascots. Namely a frog (or maybe a turtle?), a monkey, and a cockroach. Don't ask me. The lion was an actual mascot costume, but the other three sidekicks were those blow-up types and kind of looked like giant balloons. They each had their own "specialty" which was quite funny to see. The frog-turtle wasn't just any frog-turtle. He was a MACHO frog-turtle and his pectorals would flex in and out. The monkey had a similar talent, except with his butt cheeks, and I'm not kidding you. Finally, the coolest one, I thought, was the cockroach. He would crouch down, then do a flip on his head and jump! I mean, obviously the person inside stayed right side up the whole time, but it was still impressive to think about flipping the whole costume upside down when a person was in it.
I feel like maybe the crowds got a bit louder and more excited than a lot of people do back home, but that could have just been my imagination. It was pouring rain outside, but luckily it was a covered dome so we were able to eat our packed lunch of onigiri. My host dad and I even managed to sneak in alcohol! Woo hoo! So overall, I'm glad I got to go to a Japanese baseball game, but it's pretty much the same thing as back in the states. Dancing, half-naked girls, funny mascots who shoot t-shirts into the crowds, and sneaking your own booze in to avoid the ridiculously high costs of those vendor people.
Mascots doing a little jig
You can sort of see the "ash tray." Yeah, that thing that looks like a big blue compost bin. It was nearly full. gross.
Not the best play of the game by any means, but it was the coolest one I got on film