Welcome back to part 2 of our 12 Part series “A Beginners Guide to the NPB”. It’s now time to get to know the Hiroshima Carps a little better.
Hiroshima is a city needs no introduction. As History will tell you, on August 6th 1945 a weapon with the capability of killing everyone on planet earth was unleashed on Hiroshima, killing at least 140,000 people. Frightening to think about it and just an awful event in World History.
From rubble, Baseball rose. Hiroshima decided to build a Baseball stadium as part of the reconstruction. It was sort of seen as an opportunity for the city to bond over something common, this being Baseball.
In the 1950’s the team was terrible. So bad that in 1950 they didn’t have enough money to get the team to Osaka. It was the manager, Shuichi Ishimoto who pretty much church style passed around a bucket and the city again kept Hiroshima alive. Amazing, 5 years after the bomb devastated the city, the team were on the knees. None the less, Ishimoto raised the money and the team was back on track.
The Carp are one of the only teams in the NPB not owned by a major corporation, meaning their pockets aren’t is deep as the other 11 teams, causing them to have to recruit and develop a little different without the major pay roll.
Hiroshima have won the Japan Series 3 time in 1979, 1980 & 1984. They did make the 2016 Japan Series, but ultimately lost to yesterday’s preview team, the Fighting Hams.
7th Inning Stretch
One of the cool and unique things that the Hiroshima fans do during the 7th inning Stretch is let go of these red balloons. Check it out, very cool:
If you’re a fan of the Cincinnati Reds, good news is you’re not going to have to buy a new cap to support the Hiroshima Carp. The hat looks exactly like the Reds hat. See Below:
Their Uniform is currently the White with the Red “Carp” across the front for Home Games and Red with the “Hiroshima” across the chest for away games.
As mentioned the Carp won the Central League this season, defeating the Tokyo Giants – If you want to watch the bottom of the 9th in that wining game – check it out:
For MLB fans probably the most notable of the current modern MLB players is LA Dodgers pitcher, Kenta Maeda. Maeda debuted with the Dodgers last season and for the Carp over his career was 97-67 with a 2.39 ERA. His first season in Dodger Blue saw him go 16-11 with an ERA of 3.48 and who could forget his Home Run on debut for the Dodgers:
The Hiroshima Carp play at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium that seats 32,000 fans. The dimensions of the stadium are: 331Ft Left Field, 400Ft Centre Field, 328FT Right Field and 381FT in the power alleys.
Introducing “Slyly” the Hiroshima Carp Mascot. Like our mate Heat Flash in Perth looks an awful lot like Mr Met, Slyly could easily be related to the Philadelphia Phillies Mascot, Phillie Phanatic.
The Hiroshima Carp begin their 2017 season officially on March 31st when they host the Osaka Tigers. Spring Training is under way with Games starting early March.
Getting to Mazada Zoom Zoom Stadium
If you’re lucky enough to be in Hiroshima this year and need to get the the Baseball – Here is a rough guide:
By JR train
About a 10 minute-walk from the South Entrance of JR Hiroshima Station
About a 15 minute-walk from JR Tenjingawa Station
About a 10 minute-walk from the Hiroshima City streetcar stop “Matoba-cho”
About an 11 minute-walk from the Hiroshima City streetcar stop “Danbara 1-Chome”
Get off at the “Mazda Stadium-Mae” bus stop.
The stadium is in front of the bus stop.
Take the Hiroden Bus – Kumano Line,
Hiroshima Bus – No. 21 Line, or
Geiyo Bus – Saijo, Ato, Misako, Minamisaiwai, or Hataka Lines.
Getting to Japan:
From Australia or anywhere in the World, the good people at Expedia will be able to help you plan and book your trip – check them out at www.expedia.com.au.
Thanks for reading all about the Hiroshima Carp! Tomorrow we look at the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Give us a like on Facebook via this link: www.facebook.com/TalkingBaseballAustralia as we will post links to the story there. You can always find me on twitter @PaulMorgs or @tbaustralia.
See you tomorrow!