At the Ichiro’s home ground, Safeco Field in Seattle, KUSA1’s monumental baseball event was held and many players from Japan as well as Japanese and Americans in Seattle got together. This is first time for all of them to play sandlot games in a Major League ball park. They pitched, hit, caught, ran and jumped over the entire field. It tightened the friendship between Japan and US.
To send an earnest message that the baseball be adopted again to the Olympic games
To maintain interchange between Japan and US through sandlot baseball games
Monday, September 21, 2009
Safeco field in Seattle
Japan Volunteer Team
Victory Prize：Japan, Manager, Tetsuya Ishikawa (Sluggers) For leading the team to a splendid win as the first manager of the Japan team representing all the Japanese sandlot baseball teams
MVP：Japan, #18, Yutaka Mori (Sluggers) For an extreme success of making four hits a day being the true “slugger” of Japan
Excellent Player : Sluggers, #27, Tomohito Tanimoto For becoming the winning pitcher of the game versus Japan Volunteer Team with an excellent quality
Excellent Player : Japan Volunteer Team, #2, Yoshitaka Inoue (Seattle NCJLT) For scoring by stealing bases and excellent base running technique
Excellent Player : Japan, #16, Yu Imai (Sluggers) For running round and round the diamond with fantastic hits
Excellent Player : USA, #37, Jason Lambacker (Downtown Seattle Mariners) For making good results both in pitching and batting
The KUSA１ Player Gave a Ceremonial First Pichi in the Official Major Baseball Game
Sluggers’ Tamayama and Seattle’s Hiro, both the members of KUSA1 World Series 2009, made big rolls giving a ceremonial first pitch in the official Major League Baseball game, Mariners vs Twins, held in the Safeco Field in Seattle on September 24, 2010. Both wearing an uniform of the local Mariners, Mr.Tamayama as a pitcher and Mr.Hiro as a catcher, made a great performance in front of a large spectators of 30,000. Congratulations to both!
Comments from the participants before Departure
T.H. (Kanagawa prefecture) I’m usually a quiet person but I am too excited to visit the Major League stadium. I definitely will enjoy this event so that it will be the treasure of my entire life.
Y.I. (Osaka prefecture) Almost everyday thesedays, I am watching Major League games on TV and looking at a map of Seattle. I feel like being already in Safeco Field. I am just excited.
K.M. (Kyoto prefecture) It is just unbelievable that my first international travel be the experience of playing in the Major League stadium. I even still don’t know how to exchange bills. But I want to try my best in a performance.
T.I. (Osaka prefecture) I am looking forward to a match against the US team. I think we should win ‘cause Japanese rubber balls are used in games. I feel a pressure of representing the Japanese flag.
S.Y. (Seattle city) I played softball when I was in an elementary school. Also I had enjoyed playing baseball with my colleague in office. Before coming to Seattle, I coached young kids at baseball. I am looking forward to my first playing game in Seattle.
K.K. (Seattle city) I am really excited to play baseball in Safeco Field. I can’t believe I can play baseball in the Field where Ichiro and Jojima play. This opportunity will have never been happened in my life again, so I will enjoy the game. Lastly, I really thank to Kusa1.
Raising the National Flags and Singing the National Anthems
Opening Speech from the Event Organizer
Ladies and gentlemen, I think you are too excited to start the KUSA1 World Series 2009. What are you here to? You came here to make a new history in sandlot baseball. And you came here to brighten up your life. I hope that this historical event today contribute to the revival of baseball in the Olympic Games. Let’s just have fun!
The Congratulatory Address from Mr. Takashi Kuchii, Seattle Japanese Consulate General
Congratulations to all for having this event. Three months ago, when I heard you were trying to have sandlot baseball at Safeco field, I thought “What a ridiculous idea!” But now I know dreams could come true. You are standing now in a field of dreams. I hope interchange between the two countries will last following this event.
選Player’s Oath, Japan, #16, Yu Imai (Sluggers)
Hello Seattle. Hello Safeco Field. Hello baseball fans who are here and who are not here. We believe it doesn’t matter where and what country you are from, and what language you speak. We all speak baseball. Baseball means Unity!
(He is the initial Member of the team since ’84.) The Koshien Stadium in Japan was great but Safeco Field was tremendously great. Just fantastic! “I will be a right fielder like Ichiro,” said everyone. That’s why I rotated the outfielders. Also it was amazing to hear that my private locker is the one A. Rod had been using till yesterday.
#0, Takamitsu Tokuyama (Sluggers)
In spite of my recent joining the sluggers, I already could get a big chance like this. I am really happy to be on the same stage as among Major Leaguers like Matsui or Ichiro.
#1, Hiroshi Tamayama (Sluggers)
(He represents players in forties.) Through this chance of playing with American players, I actually could find there are a lot of people who love baseball and make their effort in baseball. I think it becomes a good motivation for my future baseball career.
#2, Masahiro Kubono (Sluggers)
(He is a specialist of stealing bases!!) Befor coming to US, I have got a passport and a new suitcase. Also I bought a digital camera and it was the most useful thing I brought.
#5, Taiji Kitayama (Sluggers)
It was the best thing for me to share how much we love baseball with my team mates and local players. We could be one through baseball. The memory of being a catcher when Moose, the Mariners’ mascot did a ceremonial first pitch is unforgettable.
#15, Wataru Iijima (Sluggers)島亘 選手
It was a miracle having moved from Kanto to Osaka, then it was the other miracle having joined the Sluggers. Having played in the Safeco Field is also another miracle. Thanks to all these miracles.
#16, Yutaka Imai (Sluggers)
(He was chosen as an excellent player. He is Ichiro of the Sluggers. Area 51 is his.) I have been under a big pressure for days for taking a player’s oath. Actually I was the sole Japanese person who took an oath in that place. It was a true “Field of Dreams”.
18, Yutaka Mori (Sluggers)
(He was chosen as the MVP of the event. He showed us fantastic performances of making four hits a day. He is called Mr. Full-swing and his batted ball is the fastest in Japan.) I really would like to thank encounter with the manager Ishikawa and Sluggers.
#19, Yuuhei Nikubo (Sluggers)
(He is the most handsome guy in the team.) The pitching mound in a Major League ball park really fits me. But, I was really upset when I gave a dead ball to the first American player in the Major League ball park.
#27, Tomohito Tanimoto (Sluggers)
(He was chosen as an excellent player.) I became the ace pitcher of the team by earning the win at Safeco Field. I’m glad to record my name on the history of Japanese sandlot baseball.
Assistant, Manami Kitayama (Sluggers)
(As an assistant, she supports the team behind the scenes.) Good job to everyone! You guys were so cool. I really want to come back to this place with all of you.
Cheerleader, Tomoyo Nomura (Sluggers)
(Actually she is a private cheerleader of Iijima!) At first, I didn’t believe that a sandlot baseball team plays in a Major League Baseball stadium. I couldn’t quite get the meaning of it. But now I can tell you I did the greatest experience.
Cheerleader, Izumi Maeda (Sluggers)
It was really a good experience for me to see everyone’s cool performances in the Safeco Field.
Team crew, Hiroo Dewa (Sluggers)
All players were really shining and dazzling in the field. I am so much grateful for my experience of standing on the field with everyone.
#5, Kouichi Morishita (Speed Dangerous)
(He improved his skill as a third baseman in Kyoto, then tried his skill in Seattle.) I have traveled abroad for the first time this time, I had just great memories having played in the Safeco Field.
#10, Masayuki Kamada (Speed Dangerous)
(He has been devoted to pitcher for sixteen years. He thanks everyone for his experience of pitching in a dream stage! ) I could watch a game of Mariners vs Yankees, and also I could watch Ichiro’s performance. Then I can not believe that I was able to play in the same field.
#25, Tatsuya Kamada (Black Winds)
(He is a southpaw earnestly having pitched at Kyocera Dome Osaka stadium.) I joined the team representing my team solely and I cannot thank more for my experience of playing baseball with all players. Seattle, I like you very much.
#32, Yoshitaka Inoue (Seattle NCJLT)
(He was chosen as an excellent player.) I used to play outfield in high school. Now I play mainly infield in the Puget Sound Senior Baseball League.
#2, Kizo Kato (Seattle)
I am really excited to play baseball in Safeco Field.
#51, Hiro (Seattle)
Meeting new people, friendship, an expanding circle of people, I see a great potential in KUSA1. I did not share the feeling like this even with friends in Seattle. Baseball is fantastic! Safeco Field is great! Thanks to KUSA1.
#29, Atsushi Iwata (Seattle)
(He has been a baseball player since kindergarten days. He is a specialist as catcher.) I came here with my sister and mother. I enjoyed really really a lot. Thank you for the excitement that I can not express in words.
#2, Yasuo Ishii (Seattle)
I played softball when I was in an elementary school. Also I had enjoyed playing baseball with my colleague in office. I coached young kids at baseball.
USA, Manager, #8, Toshi Nishizawa (USA)
Unifying indivisuals with various charactaristics was a tough one. Next time it’s our turn to visit Japan and play. Thanks to the team Japan. (He gave balls with US member’s autograph to all of Japan team.) It is unforgettable for me to see people with different languages and races got together and built friendship. Baseball is for not only professionals. In New York as well, I saw many sandlot teams with many races get together with baseball. We should make this spread throughout the world. Let’s make WKBC (World KUSA Baseball Classic)!
#3, Dan Larson (USA)
(He is Mr. Baseball!) Almost every week, I’m playing baseball. But I started dancing with my wife for I wanted to spend more time with her. Then she could have me play baseball.
#6, Jacob “Jake” Staff (USA)
Next time I want to play in Koshien Stadium and watch the Hanshin Tigers’ game there.
#10, Takayoshi “Tak” Kono (USA)
I’ve been really looking forward to playing at Safeco Field. I wish I could make hits. Actually I took a day off for the game, so it’s a bit embarrasing.
#11, Ryuji Mitsuoka (USA)
My parents came to the stadium to see the game. It was a great moment to play in front of them.
#12, Adam Johnson (USA)
(He is 20 years old and a cannon of US team.) I really wanted to hit a home run at Safeco Field. Let me have one more chance.
#16, Craig Fisher (USA)
I wonder if it was just a dream that I played in the Major Legue stadium.
#37, Jason Lambacker (USA)
(He was chosen as an excellent player.) I was so excited from the opening ceremony. It was really great. Actually I used live in Fukushima, so I love Japan and Japanese people.
#44, Ty Roberts (USA)
I came here with my girlfriend. I asked her to be a cameraman to record this special moment. She actually did a good job. I was too excited to be on the MLB mound.
#9, Taylor Anthony (USA)
I could make the best memory for myself. I was lucky to join this event.
Ball boy, #80, Eito Nishizawa Ball boy, #55, Hugo Nishizawa
When I was a young adult, I gave a baseball glove to a boy as a token of my gratitude to his parent. The boy became very dedicated to baseball and went for Koshien during his high school age and became a top level athlete at the prefectural game. His parents were very happy with his accomplishments. I was also very happy that a single glove I gave him changed his life and brought happiness to him and the people around. Because I wanted to share excitement with more people through baseball, I have established Amateur Baseball Ashinaga Foundation in December 24th, 2001.
As Japan is an advanced country of baseball, children have great environment to learn it. On the other hand, in the other Asian countries excluding Korea and Taiwan, the opportunities to play baseball and the availability of baseball equipments are near-total absence. To this end, Amateur Baseball Ashinaga Foundation is aiming to give opportunities to play baseball for the children from neighboring Asian countries.
Part of the registration fee for amateur baseball games go to the fund. We want to be a role model in fund raising activities for amateur baseball clubs, inspired by world level professional players who are participating in fundraising as contribution to society.
Collection, repair and donation of baseball equipments
We collect, repair and donate baseball equipments that are no longer needed. We also ask people to donate their baseball equipments so that we can repair and donate them to children in Asia.
We register and donate as annual fee for World Children’s Baseball Association. We donate to Zimbabwe Baseball Association.
Construction of stadium
We will help developing baseball popularity in Asia by building full-scale baseball fields. We have cooperated in the activities of Saigon South School Baseball Club, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2005.
Hoping that our future generations will love baseball as we do, we are trying to improve manners between baseball lovers. The purpose of Manner Improvement campaign is to develop manners between amateur baseball players and anyone who are involved in it.
KUSA1 Boys and Girls Opening Ceremony
Boys and girls, as the next generation of baseball players, will participate in opening ceremony ament.
We hold lectures to describe the activities of Amateur Baseball Ashinaga Foundation. Please email us for inquiries.