《Japanese Baseball Leagues》
Japanese baseball has 2 major leagues, Central League and Pacific League grouped by the areas where each team is located. There are 6 teams each for both league, and 2 champions from each league compete for the No.1 in Japan every year which is called “Japan Series.”
In advance for the final game, each league give a chance to the teams that have got first, second, or third place in total to be a representative of the league, which is called “Climax Series.” In this season, many of us will be excited to see and hear the results of their games; especially for those who has a local team.
《Hope for Hokkaido》
The news has made people in Hokkaido jump up with the joy; Nippon Ham Fighters has won the first place in Pacific League for the first time in 4 years. Nippon Ham Fighters is a subsidiary company of Nipponham Foods Ltd who produces ham, sausages, pizza etc. The baseball team was born in Tokyo in 1952 to have been there until 2003. In 2004, they moved to Hokkaido, and we could say that Fighters was reborn in Hokkaido because they got a warm welcome, and came to be supported by enthusiastic fans to leave good results at games.
For people in Hokkaido, Fighters was the first professional baseball team, and we were so excited that we rushed to their home ground, Sapporo Dome. Still now, Sapporo Dome will be full of their fans for their games. Fighters’ moving has given a great influence on people in Hokkaido.
In fact, there are a lot of elderly fans those who say “I have found my new life with Fighters to fill up my schedule book with their events.” On the other hand, some families have established their bond by going to watch the games together or talking about the team at a table for dinner. While it is said for the economic success to be grown by their moving, their “reborn” has also brought mental success to people in Hokkaido.
(Reference: Enthusiastic fans at Sapporo Dome)
Polly Polaris (left) B.B (center) Frep (right)
《What is Sapporo Dome like?》
Sapporo Dome was built in 2001 in Hitsuji-ga-oka, Sapporo where about 30 minutes’ driving from the central Sapporo. You can access by the public transport such as JR, subways, or buses as well. In fact, Sapporo Dome is the home ground for a professional soccer team of Hokkaido, Consadole as well as the one for Fighters, so it is quite interesting that baseball fans and soccer fans gather to the same place.
If you are lucky, you might be able to watch either game after getting a ticket in advance or on the day. Even if there is no game on the day of your visit, you can enjoy observatory from 53m above the arena’s ground level, or Dome tour with the guides (fee required for both activities.) See the detail to visit the following link. http://www.sapporo-dome.co.jp/
Nipponham Foods Ltd has decided to hold a “Victory Sale” in a celebration for Fighters’ victory in Pacific League. One of the most popular sausages, “Schauessen,” fried chicken, “Chiki chiki born,” and the most popular chilled pizza, “Ishigama Ko-Bo” were on sale at supermarkets& department stores for 3 days (from Sep 29 to 1 October in 2016.) Fighters will have games in “Climax Series” on Pacific League to win, and will hopefully be the champion of all the teams in Japan. It means that we will have two more chances for the sales. Please check the games to be their supporters!
《A new stage》
It is said that Fighters has been considering if they will build a new Dome in or around Sapporo in the future. No matter where they go, we will surely be their fans because they have given lots of dreams, courage, and stories to us. For now, let us pray for their good luck in “Climax Series” and “Japan Series.”