Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Japanese Women's Baseball League: Did You Know It Existed?
Japan's more popular sports have professional players and leagues - of course, baseball and soccer are the two biggest team sports, but plenty of other sports have national stars including sumo, badminton, swimming, and gymnastics. And, for at least the past three years, women's baseball.
The stands aren't packed with fans, but plenty of people showed up to enjoy the game. When I arrived at the game, I was given my ticket seen at the top, which is scanned at entry. It's the same size as a baseball card. And speaking of cards, I was also given one card (I managed to get another) of one of the players. Both cards I ended up with are seen above, and they're nicely done. They have rounded corners and seem more like gaming cards as far as durability. The card numbers (seen better in the second back-scan) don't seem to correspond to any normal numbering system, and I didn't inquire about getting a set when I attended the game. I plan on asking about it next time (there are three more events that I can attend this year).
Other team-based souvenirs are available - jerseys, hats, and other knickknacks. I bought a yearbook, the only non-team-specific item available.
The teams are stocked with Japanese players, though one Australian woman plays on one of the teams.
Interestingly, the league held a tournament in my town this year, but that was before I knew it existed, though that hopefully means they'll return next year. Regardless, going to a JWBL game is a lot of fun, similar to going to a minor league game back in the States. I can't wait for my next one!
(I intend on posting more information, including some pictures, to my Chaos and Kanji blog and/or this one at some point in the future, though it may be a while before I get around to that given my current posting queue and plans.)