Website: Nippon Ham Fighers
Date Visited: Sept 14, 2010
We took a plane from Tokyo up to Sapporo. Traveling in Japan is a whole lot easier than in the US. Security at the airport was pleasant. No lines, you don't have to take your shoes off or have your shampoo, toothpaste, etc. in a separate clear baggie. You can bring bottles of water through security (just had to show them).
There was a video camera on both the front and bottom of the plane so you got to see what the pilots see when taking off and landing. Very, very cool.
The Sapporo Dome serves both baseball and soccer by rolling up the baseball field and having the soccer field wheeled (or hovered) in. It is quite fasinating.
Check here to see a short video of the process. Scroll a quarter way down to the 'Hovering Technology' section of the page to select the video. It is known as the world's first "hovering soccer stage".
It's actually a very decent website in English for this dome.
This stadium is in the northern most part of the country. We took a flight up to the area to see this stadium.
Different, isn't it?
That circular, glass extension coming out of the stadium is an observatory deck.
We were able to take a tour of this stadium. It was in Japanese but it still was pretty cool. I got to see what the 'indoor bullpens' look like.
In Japan, all dugouts have individual seats unlike MLB which has an open bench. Players would sit in the seats when they were in the dugout; no leaning on the steps or over the railing.
Taken from way out in center field.
All this turf is rolled up as part of the transition to a soccer field.
It seats 42,328.
In the upper right of this photo, you can see an escalator going up to a circular tube. This is the entranceway to the observatory mentioned in the outdoor photo above.
The pink seats on the first base side are called the Cinderella seats. Geared towards attracting more women to come to the game, the seat ticket includes 2 seats and only women are allowed in that section.
Player numbers were greater than 99. This is visiting team backup or bullpen catcher Matsuhira.
You mainly see numbers greater than 100 in the minor league.
Lots of foul territory.
The Fighters uniforms had one black sleeve and one white sleeve. I liked because it looked sharp and was different.
This was one of the few (maybe the only) stadium that only had a net behind the home plate area and NOT around the rest of the seating area. Nice.
The music in this stadium was played way too loud.
What an incredible game!
My score card looked like this:
R H E
9 14 0 Rakuten Eagles
0 04 0 Nippon Ham Fighters
Nagai, pitcher for the Eagles got a complete game shutout.
#46, SS for the Eagles was 5 for 5 - all singles and scored 3 of the runs.
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