Memories from my childhood: the ballpark

Posted on Nov 5 2015 - 8:47am by Satoshi Shimayoshi


The childhood memory of the ballpark occupies somewhere deep in my heart.

I grew up in Japan for the first 20 years of my life; for me, the ballpark meant Koshien Stadium, which is the home stadium of Hanshin Tigers, a popular Japanese professional team. Koshien was a magical place. The moment I enter the stadium, I always gasp at the beauty of the black diamond and the green grass of outfield which remains untouched until the start of the game.

Some people may say, watching the game on TV is much more convenient because in the stadium you can only see the players as small as beans; I strongly disagree with such people because going to the ballpark itself is an irreplaceable experience.

When I was in primary school, I often visited Koshien with my baseball team friends and coaches. The stadium was huge and everything was special whether it was the beer sales clerks making their rounds or the enthusiastic fans cheering and booing. Many of us dreamed playing in this beautiful stadium one day, unfortunately that dream has not come true, at least not yet.

Only selected people can stand out on the field; now Koshien is called sacred place in Japan. It is sacred for students, because a national baseball championship is often held there, but it is also sacred for adults too.

I believe that indispensable differences between the audience and players are the source of the relish of the sport. No matter how awful the starting pitcher is, we cannot substitute for him. All we can do is to complain about him or cheer him up. As we grow up many people give up playing and moves their “playing field” to the stand. While we cannot call the shots on the field, the selected players are our representatives. That’s why we want to cheer them up.That’s why professional baseball is exciting.

I still remember the excitement of the moment fist time I entered the ballpark. I remember the beauty of the Koshien. I believe each baseball fan has his/her own sacred Ballpark.