Bay Stars vs. Carps

Home of the Bay Stars

One of Rob’s birthday presents was tickets to a Yokohoma Bay Stars baseball game, which we went to on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, and the Bay Stars were playing the Hiroshima Carps. (Rob and I were debating as to whether or not we really pluralize carp in English. Do we? Does one say, “I caught three carps in Hiroshima?” or “I caught three carp in Hiroshima?”) I was interested to see what the Japanese have done with a totally American tradition, like the teriyaki burger at the Japanese McDonalds. Have you ever had a dream where you knew you were somewhere you’ve been before only in the dream it wasn’t really the same place? The game was like that. It was just like a Nats game, but:

  • Put the Nats back in RFK Stadium.
  • Now cut RFK in half, crosswise, only cram in just as many people. Cut the seats in half, too, to accommodate them all.
  • Replace all of the apathetic fans with unbelievably enthusiastic ones. Put each team’s fans on opposite sides of the stadiums (this presented a challenge when we were buying tickets–we accidentally got in the Hiroshima Carps line and again presented a major threat to Japanese order.) Teach all of the fans cheers, which they will sing continuously while their team is at bat, with the aid of trumpet players scattered throughout the stands and a white-gloved man displaying cue cards in case they forget the words. (Alarmingly, I think that one of the cheers featured a chorus of “BANZAI, BANZAI!” but I might have misheard.) When the other team is at bat, the fans will sit politely and listen to that team’s cheers.
  • Replace the hot dogs with delicious Japanese cuisine, like my bento box:

For those of you who are interested, I think that this was mostly gluten-free.
  • Replace the beer men with cute Japanese beer girls:

  • Add cheerleaders. Choreograph them wholesome dance routines that would not have been out-of-place in a central Kansas high school football game halftime, and make the mascots dance with them:

Why doesn't American baseball have cheerleaders?

Very much like the Nats, however, the Bay Stars blew an early three-run lead to lose to the Carp(s), 7-3. It was still a fabulous experience.

After the game we walked around Yokohama, which has a lovely waterfront. I was surprised to see some nice 19th-century buildings that somehow escaped the bombing and bulldozing that have seemed to destroy so much of older urban Japan. Chip got his cheeks pinched and his picture taken and ate cherry-blossom ice cream.

Converted warehouses and nice gardens on the Yokohama waterfront

And, where else but Japan could we have seen a whippet in jorts and a Winnie-the-Pooh hoodie?

Also, being the Luddite that I am, I just realized that you all have been leaving me comments about the posts I’ve written! Thank you so much–I didn’t realize that I have to “approve” them before they get posted (oh, the power). It’s so nice to hear from you all.