A-Bomb and Us

Professional Baseball League in Japan
  & Hiroshima TOYO CARP

April, 2006 Iggy Aratani/HIP

There are two (Central & Pacific) leagues in Japan, and both leagues consist of 6 teams (total 12 teams).
The Hiroshima TOYO CARP belongs to the Central League. It is said that the ability of the Japanese teams is on the same level of 3A class in the US.
The Japanese top players aspire to become the Major League players, and there are some successes such as Matsui (Godzilla) of New York YANKEES, Ichiro of Seattle MARINERS and Nomo of Los Angels DODGERS.

On the other hand, foreign players (mainly from the US) are playing in Japan. There is a restriction of the number to a “maximum 6 foreign players on one team”. The manager of Hiroshima Carp has changed to American this season.

Although the games are played by the same rule as that of the US, there are particular performances by the audiences such as playing trumpets and drums by private cheer groups and the jet-balloon ceremony at the bottom seven inning. Why don’t you try it? The price of the four balloon set is 200 yen (2 dollars).
The mascot character “Slyly” was born in Harrison-Erickson Inc. in the US, which produced the characters in the TV program “Sesame Street” and other Major League teams.

The History of the Hiroshima TOYO CARP:
In 1950, five years after the end of the war, a professional baseball team was established in Hiroshima as a symbol of reconstruction of the city; sponsored by Hiroshima citizen and local business enterprises.
The nickname of the team “CARP” was chosen among the public, since Hiroshima Castle was called “Carp Castle” because there were many carp in the moat surrounding the castle. The fish, “carp” is believed to climb water falls. The carp shaped streamers are held up to wish growth and progress of a boy around May 5th.
The “TOYO” is the old name of The Mazda Motor Car, the Hiroshima-based company. It is the main sponsor.
Hiroshima TOYO CARP had spent difficult period with financial problem and the results (perennial losers) for many years after its establishment. However, it recovered backed up by the citizens, and became the champion for the first time in 1975; then several times after that. Hiroshima TOYO CARP also established a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic to turn out players.

Tonight, the Hiroshima TOYO CARP will match up with the Tokyo GIANTS who have many famous and high salary players who are headhunted with big money.
Let’s back up the CARP! Please enjoy the different culture of Japan.

Foreign players of Hiroshima TOYO CARP Foreign players of Tokyo GIANTS
Name (age) Home country Position (Number) Name (age) Home country Position (Number)
Marty Brown 43 U.S.A. Manager 71      
John Bale 31 U.S.A. Pitcher 49 Powel 29 U.S.A. Pitcher 42
Romano 34 U.S.A. Pitcher 30 Lee 29 Korea Infield 33
Douglas 26 U.S.A. Pitcher 21 Glover 29 U.S.A. Pitcher 46
Marte 25 Dominica Pitcher 93 Dillon 30 U.S.A. Infield 5
Feliciano 25 Dominica Pitcher 98 An 18 China Infield 103
      Che 17 China Infield 104


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