Monday, October 05, 2009

Hanshin Vs Yakult ~~~

Me, Shanthi and Anto, went to see professional baseball in Koshien, rightly so, it is called the “Hanshin” Koshien stadium. It’s home to the much hyped professional baseball team, “The Hanshin tigers”.  We knew that they were idolized in the Kansai region, but we found out that it was far more than idolization. There was a “special” non-stop express train 「臨時特急」from Umeda 「梅田」station to Koshien「甲子園」station. I would say, “hanshin” special, as it was filled with **only** hanshin fans. The “hanshin tigers” costumes predominantly came in yellow and pink. I though pink was for the female fans, but I saw some men who were wearing pink.


I heard that it was recently renovated. I though the toilets were cleaner than the one’s found in JR Kyoto station. We went on a Saturday evening, and the stadium was packed. We actually got the tickets as a gift from Hatano-san, we go to the same Catholic church. It was just near the 3rd base, called the “3rd base IVY seat” 「3塁アイベーシート」. We entered through the 11th gate. As we were just entering the gates we could get a peek of the packed crowd as seen in the following photo …


Though we are kind of inclined towards “the giants”, we supported “hanshin” on that day for a couple of reasons. ① The ticket was gifted to us by Hatano-san, and ② we were not supporters of “Yakult”. In fact we did not know them. The stadium was full, and the practice had already started by the time we entered the stadium. Though the tickets had the seat numbers clearly written on it, we were lost in the huge crowd. So, we requested the ground staff for help, and he was kind enough to lead us to our seats. We were sitting very close, and the view was very good. For me, it was like watching baseball in a very big screen television, very big. I would say life size ;-) ….


I learnt that it was equally dangerous to sit close to the batters, when a foul ball, hit the stairs below the one in which Anto was playing. Everyone around started started shouting … “abunai, abunai … abunai …”, which means dangerous. It all happened so fast that I did not have any time to react. I was relieved that it did not hit him, as the ball was travelling lightning fast. After that we made sure that he is not exposed to the ball. In short, it was a nightmare for ~~ 50 milli seconds ~~


Apart from the clean toilets, and nice and comfortable plastics seats, I was impressed with the beer selling girls. They were carrying the *extremely cold* and fresh Asahi super dry like a shoulder bag … very impressive. And yes, they were wearing the Hanshin pink ;-) … I enjoyed the JPY 600 beer. It was about 2.5 times expensive.

The pink could be seen dotted in between the yellow. Actually I thought the color was a bit strong, very much like the highly emotional kansai people. I really liked the pink hat … Cowboy style pink hat. Lady cowboy, cowgirl.


Anto, always likes to play with guys much elder to him. In the stadium he found a couple of guys, probably in their teens, and he was trying to make friends with them. At first, those guys tried their best to ignore, but had to give-in to Anto’s perseverance. Here he can be seen trying to shake hands with them. It was an innings break and so those guys had some time for Anto too …

DSC_0523 Following are some of the shots that impressed me. I was busy looking after Anto, watching the match, drinking my beer, and gazing at the high tech stuff in the stadium like the LED displays, but managed to take some snaps.


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Anto saying cheese …

It was fun, despite our support, hanshin lost …