I realized I haven’t even edited this page, so I’d better do so.
I’ve been following koukouyakyuu (that’s how you’d type it and write it in hiragana to get to the kanji via the blog since 2005, but my interest in it started in middle school when in the morning I turned on what was the the International Channel and they had Fuji Sankei news before I would go to school. Every once in a while, I would see baseball highlights and think to myself, “Hey, baseball highlights. Wait a sec, these people don’t look like professionals and their uniforms are all white. What gives?”
Then in 2004, back in Tokyo ready to end my first trip to Japan I turned on the TV and saw a baseball game. Again, I thought, “Hey, it’s baseball! Wait, these people don’t look like professionals again, and it’s a Tuesday morning? Why are people playing on a Tuesday morning and why is it televised?”
So when I got back I did some research and found out about this whole world of 高校野球. And I’ve been following it ever since.
I was fortunate enough to make my first Koushien trip in 2006. And that tournament continues to amaze me how awesome it was.
- Osaka Touin v Yokohama on Day 1 (sound familiar?)
- I got to see Dass Romash (Kanzei), only to see him blow another 9th inning lead against Bunsei Geidai Fuzoku
- The rowdy Yaeyama Shoukou ouendan and their ace Oomine Yuuta
- The numerous comebacks time and time again including…
- The crazy 9th inning between Teikyou and Chiben Wakayama
- And the final (and the replay) between Waseda Jitsugyou (Saitou Yuuki) v Komadai Tomakomai (Tanaka Masahiro)
The tournament also at the time set the record for most overall HRs hit at a Natsu Koushien (60) that stood until this year.
I was able to go again 5 years later, but watched helplessly as Nichidai-san took the title. They were good enough to, but at the time teams weren’t implementing strategies that teams are now which certainly helped them out.
Anyways, I liked kokoyakyu (the way that most of you are used to seeing it written), because of the romanticism of it. But as you can see from the articles at the beginning of this blog, that romanticism is pretty much gone. The game is dominated by the powerhouses for the most part and it only figures to get worse over time as new kantoku’s (managers) come in and implement more modern strategy as well as leveraging their recruiting efforts.
As is generally the case, the rich will continue to get richer.