I don’t really know how I got into baseball anyway. Back in the 1990s there was a german sports channel on cable television which was showing the World Series between the Twins and the Braves and I was casually watching this as it happened to be the only sports broadcast on TV. But it never fascinated me to the extent that I tried to follow results or even pick up a bat or a glove myself.
The came my fascination for Japan, the internet and Matsuzaka Daisuke‘s move to the states and I happened to watch an MLB game through a live stream. Maybe that coincided with me watching the Japanese television series “H2”, a drama about the adventures of a high school baseball team and their quest for a berth at the famous Koshien tournament. Well, I ended up watching lots of games through the 2007 season, I happened to watch some games of the 2007 Summer Koshien and I even was able to watch one or two NPB games. While watching the games I needed background information which wasn’t provided by the commentators during the broadcasts and I especially needed some explanation on Japanese baseball since I don’t really understand what those guys are talking about anyway.
Which is how I came across some websites on the net which deal with Japanese baseball in general and in particular. My first and foremost source is japanesebaseball.com, a forum which collects all kinds of information about what’s happening in baseball all over Asia. What I especially like about this site is that it’s interactive and you get a chance to talk to people. Their chat during this year’s Summer Koshien was very funny and I learned a lot because the guys there took the time to explain a lot of stuff when I was asking stupid questions.
Another great resource is a blog about Japanese baseball run by an American living in Japan called “Marinerds, etc”. I can’t remember the name it had a while ago, something with Hokkaidorks and Dragonflies, probably. Anyway, Deanna provides great blog with pictures of both NPB and Japanese minor league games alongside with wonderful writing skills.
And there is NPB Tracker, a great blog about all the stuff you need to know about Japanese baseball and what is happening with Japanese players in the MLB.
But a few months ago I got a comment to a post I made on this blog about the Hanshin Tigers reporting of a movie about japanese baseball entitled “Land Of The Rising Fastball”. There is a short trailer on the website of the production company and it’s very refreshing to actually see and hear the people behind those great websites I just mentioned because Deanna (Marinerds) and Westbay-san (japanesebasball.com) make appearances in that movie. Movies like this provide a window for me to get least a glimpse of what is happening in baseball over there in Asia. Unfortunately, I think, I won’t be able to watch it because there won’t be any cinema in Germany which will show a film like this. The baseball community is far too small. On the other hand they were showing this High School baseball documentary on a francogerman TV station a while ago, so maybe it might end up being shown on television. You’ll never know. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in baseball and if you get to see it feel free to leave a comment here and make me envious…