David and I went to a Japanese baseball game at Meiji Jingu stadium, in Meiji Park. The biggest difference with a typical American stadium is that the infield is all dirt, instead of having grass inside the basepaths. The outfield did not appear to be as well maintained, and the dimensions of the field were smaller than in U.S. major leagues.

The Yomiuri Giants were playing the Sankei Atoms (now Yakult Swallows). Both were Tokyo teams, but Japanese baseball teams take their names from sponsoring companies, not the city. The Giants were Japan’s most popular and successful team. In 1967, they won the third of nine consecutive championships. They had Japan’s two best players, Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima. The team was sponsored by Yomiuri Shimbun, the largest newspaper in Japan.

It looks like ran had begun when I took this photo. Some umbrellas are already out. The game was ended in the fifth inning with the Giants leading, but there were no “rain checks.”

Image published by roger4336 on 2009-04-03 20:47:43 and used under Creative Commons license.

Tagged: , tokyo , japan , 1967 , baseball , meiji , jimgu , stadium , park

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