Tag Archives: Yomiuri Giants

Play ball

 Baseball fan Risa Abe fist-pumps with a model figure outside the Tokyo Dome.

Yomiuri Giants fan Risa Abe fist-pumps with a model figure outside the Tokyo Dome. (Hironobu Itabashi photo)

Oct. 3, 2014

It was warm and sunny today outside the Tokyo Dome, perfect baseball weather, and Kashikawa Kazumi sat in the sun waiting for the start of a Yomiuri Giants open practice game at their home field.

The 75-year-old played baseball in junior high and high school, is a loyal Giants fans, and can’t understand why there’s even a debate about whether to include baseball in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“I never understood it,” he said through a translator. “It’s a sport everyone really likes.”

Baseball has been a part of the Olympics since the 1904 summer games in St. Louis as an exhibition/demonstration sport, and became a medal sport in 1992.

But in 2005, the International Olympic Committee annual meeting voted baseball and softball out of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the first time the Olympics called out a sport since polo was eliminated from the 1936 Olympics. In 2009, the IOC again voted to exclude baseball in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Continue reading