- Softbank vs. Seibu match at Heiwa Lease Baseball Stadium in Kagoshima, with Sakurajima in the background (photographed on April 9, 2023)
Sakurajima can be seen behind the third base side when you climb up to the stands on the first base side of the Heiwa Lease Stadium in Kagoshima’s Kamoike Park. Great view. A little like a smoky cloud from the top. “It’s erupting. The easterly wind is rare, but sometimes volcanic ash comes this way,” laughed the uncle guard.
This season, Seibu entered the regional expedition of Miyazaki and Kagoshima in the third card of the opening. Kagoshima has already been personally driving along the coast this year, and has slurped down the Sakurajima Ferry’s specialty, tempura udon, but it’s a place I don’t often go to for professional baseball coverage.
Kazuo Matsui, 47, also likes to travel to other regions. He asked me several times about his memories of the Iwate Prefectural Baseball Stadium (closed at the end of March this year) and the stadium in Akita. “Until a few years ago, the open-air races were like Kitakyushu, Shimonoseki, and so on. I agree with you very much.
This expedition progressed from Miyazaki to Kagoshima. After the game in Miyazaki, the team moved by bus. I moved by rental car. Two and a half hours while writing an article in the PA on the way. There was also a team staff who comforted me, saying, “It was hard, wasn’t it?” I operated the steering wheel with all my heart to make it in time for the last order of the popular tonkatsu restaurant in Kagoshima city. If a big move is also a local expedition, it’s fun in its own way.
Kagoshima Airport on the way home. Players in suits are buying souvenirs for family and friends. Some players came out of the cafe corner and grinned as if they had enjoyed something. There are many Seibu fans on the flight back to Tokyo. Next to me was a young man who had been a fan for over 10 years. “I want to go to baseball stadiums that I can’t usually go to. There is also a scene where Seibu fans are happily discussing baseball next to team officials. The excursion strengthens the unity of the team. I felt that atmosphere.
Seibu’s regional expedition next time will be Naha, Okinawa in late June. What kind of article should I write while putting out the scent of Ryukyu? With that in mind, I was about to close this article at Omiya Park Stadium, where only two games will be played this season, when pitcher Tatsuya Imai (24) went no-hitter until the eighth inning with one out. It was a mess.[Mahito Kaneko in charge of Seibu]