Sunday, August 24, 2008

Future Projects

Although the Koshien tournament is over, that doesn't mean that this blog will take a break until the spring. I have 2 projects in mind in the meantime, both having to do with the just finished 90th Summer Koshien Tournament.

Project #1 - Stat compilation for the tournament (Kinda goes without explanation)
Project #2 - Prefectural qualifying brackets incl. school translation and website links

I only have project 2 because of my own experience watching Koshien qualifying. In 2006, I found myself in Ise, Mie-ken partially to visit the Ise Grand Shrine, but to also try and find reference points used in Hanbun no tsuki ga noboru sora, but I digress...

I found out that during my time in Ise, there would be some qualifying games at the local ballpark. I went there for every day I could, renting the local bike and pedaling to the park. I can remember the first time I went there. The park was off a main road, and up a hill. As I was approaching the hill the first day, a neighbor called me and asked if I was going to the game. I said yes, and then he asked what country I was from. Stunned, I realized that since I was riding the bright yellow bike meant for travelers, it was natural for him to ask that.

Purchasing my ticket, and running up the small flight of stairs, I emerged in the middle of a game. The game was well in hand, and the stands behind the plate weren't that full, but there was more. Seeing Koshien games is great, don't get me wrong, but the teams there represent about only 1% of the schools in the nation. In addition, from the list I provided there are a lot of schools that repeatedly come back to Koshien.

You see, these teams probably had little chance of making it. But as many of you know, these schools, these players play the game for that slim chance they win and reach the hallowed grounds of Koshien. And yet people watch, bands play, banners are unfurled with the rally cry of the school, oen-dan's cheer on the grassy bank.

And that's why I want to somehow reflect that. Sure, many of them will never make it, and many are blown out. But for teams like Akebono Gakuen, whose team was only 11 members back in 2006, even their dream should be represented.

Let me know with your comments.


Admin said...

GOro! i havebnt seen you at koshien yet. i hope i could watch your game simeday!

Alan said...

I agree completely--these teams and their efforts to make Koshien should be chronicled and remembered! It is on these small fields, in these obscure tournaments, where baseball dreams are made and broken.