Damp, overcast, windy, muggy… not the day we were hoping for for our first baseball game of the season. And this was a really important game. Ok, ok, it’s the beginning of the season so, really, the game itself wasn’t more important than others, but the first number of fans into today’s game were supposed to get a Balentien bobblehead. And bobbleheads are important! Ok, ok, bobbleheads aren’t really important but this one kind of is. This would be the first bobblehead that any of us owned that represented someone we actually know.
We started going to the Swallows games fairly frequently last season. My friend thought the right fielder was cute, in the way you think any baseball player is cute. But these stadiums are a bit smaller than those in the States, and my friends and I with our lighter color hair stick out. So, we would wave and he would wave back. We strategically chose our seats to facilitate interactions. It was kind of exciting to communicate with the players, but it never went anywhere. Then I started thinking we live in the time of social media! If I can communicate with the YA authors who are my rock stars, why not a baseball player? We’re fellow-foreigners living in Tokyo, seemed like we might have a chance. I found him on Twitter and sent a request to follow him. Then he sent me a pm. Then I gave him my friend’s phone number. Now he’s someone we know. And he’s got a bobblehead. And we should have one too.
Unfortunately, the rain and wind didn’t cooperate. Despite the weather, we set out for Tokyo. We engaged in the dance of the umbrellas through Takeshita Street in Harajuku. We got to the stadium early and knew we were in trouble when merchandise tables were nowhere to be seen and only a few fans were milling about. The game had been canceled. No game, no bobbleheads.
Fortunately, we were not swayed by the overcast weather and canceled game. We live fortunate lives in an amazing city, so we went to lunch. Eating out in Japan might be my favorite thing about living here (certainly the one I take advantage of most often). And there’s nothing better than a reasonably-priced Japanese lunch set. So, not the spring day we had planned, but I enjoyed the walk, the food, and the time with my friends. And maybe we’ll come into a bobblehead later in the season.